Texting while riding is putting many young cyclists at risk, according to a survey.
As many as 40 per cent of children aged under 16 use phones and mp3s when riding their bikes despite acknowledging the danger such actions pose, the survey by solicitors Bolt Burdon Kemp found.
Nearly a fifth of the 1,000 children aged 8-16 had an accident or near-miss after being distracted while cycling.
The poll showed that music, texting and making calls were the most popular uses of devices while cycling.
The survey also revealed that children were more likely to use phones and music players while cycling the older they got, with 44 per cent of 11-13-year-olds and 60 per cent of 14-16-year-olds doing so.
The problem is starting at an even younger age, with 14 per cent of 8 to 10-year-olds already developing this unsafe habit.
While the problem was consistent among youngsters across the UK, more than half of those in London and Northern Ireland (both 55 per cent) were cycling and using electronic devices simultaneously, and more than two-fifths in the East Midlands (46 per cent) and north west England (44 per cent).
The poll results showed 55 per cent of youngsters cycled without a helmet and 30 per cent had never received advice on cycling safety.