John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
The Bike Crash Kit for the iPhone contains all the things you need after getting run over by a car.
All right, Flanzig & Flanzig, you win: I am writing about an app that is basically an advertisement for your law firm. You just happen to be, far as I can tell, the first people to come out with this neat and handy technology.
The Bike Crash Kit for the iPhone or Android contains all the things you need after getting run over by a car (save for a doctor). After smacking into a car door or plunging into a pothole, a not-too-injured bicyclist can initiate this free app and quickly run through all the steps of the post-accident process.
There are instructions for using the phone's camera to record car and bike positions or poor street conditions that led to the wreck. The GPS will log information about your location and there's a map pointing to the nearest hospital or bike shop. A voice recorder can take in witness statements, while another function calls 911 or (of course) the law office of Flanzig & Flanzig. Once you wrap things up, the accident details get e-mailed to you in a clean little report that will come in handy later when you're suing the pants off of someone.
It would be nice to have a license-plate tracking function so you could later show up at a hit-and-run driver's house and let the air out of their tires. But otherwise, this app may be quite useful for commuters in bike-heavy cities like New York. Personal-injury attorney Daniel Flanzig tells the Brooklyn Paper that a couple hundred people in Brooklyn have already downloaded it, explaining: “Normally a rider involved in such a violent and traumatic incident can’t think clearly. With the app they can just follow the guide.”
Naturally, all this depends on the smartphone not getting crushed into oblivion against the unforgiving pavement. If that happens, you'll just have to rely on that old technology – the police.
Top photo by Roz Allen on Flickr.