More Americans are making an effort to “go green” and, with bicycle sales reaching 13 million in 2013, riding your bike to and from work may seem like the perfect way to do it. Unfortunately, bicycling injuries and even bicycling deaths are all-too-common, especially given that only 1% of trips across the country involve a bicycle. In fact, a pedestrian (including cyclists) suffers a critical injury once every seven minutes in the U.S.! Thankfully, a new mobile application may help reduce the likelihood of these accidents and make bicycling to and from work safer and more feasible.
Introducing BikeShield, A New Mobile App
The mobile application BikeShield would benefit drivers and cyclists. “For drivers, the app runs in the background,” according to a Feb. 17 ABC News report. “It automatically turns on when your car starts moving and then warns drivers a few seconds before they would be able to see the approaching bike.” It will be an audio warning signal, safely getting drivers’ attention without acting as a visual distraction. The app would go a long way to prevent car and bike accidents — not only by alerting drivers who may not be paying attention, but also by warning drivers who may not be able to see cyclists in their blind spots. Although it is a far less common use, motorcyclists and bikers can also use the app to mark their location and warn drivers when they are close.
What’s The Next Step?
While many are praising the new app, several people are also pointing out its flaws. Yes, the developer, Pere Margalef, won a tremendous victory when several cities announced that they will be mandating the use of the app for their public transportation systems. With that in mind, bicycle accident lawyers may consider use of the app or lack thereof in future bicycle head injuries or future car and bicycle accidents — but likely only for public vehicles. And there’s an even bigger problem: achieving widespread use of the app to truly keep bicyclists safe will prove more difficult. Margalef hopes the app and its data may one day become integrated with built-in dash and GPS systems in newer vehicles.
Bicycling injuries are a big problem. The new mobile app BikeShield hopes to reduce these injuries, although the technology currently faces some limitations.