What should you do if you get into a bicycle crash? You’ll be disoriented, maybe in shock. Will you, or bystanders, remember to ask for contact information for witnesses? Later, will you remember to keep track of medical expenses? The Washington Area Bicyclist Association just released apps for Android and iPhone to help you if this happens.
There’s a lot to remember to do at a traumatic time, and unfortunately many aspects of our laws punish cyclists if they make a small mistake. Without corroboration from witnesses or cameras, it’s very difficult to prove what happened, and police officers often make unwarranted assumptions about a crash or don’t bother to interview witnesses.
Plus, DC, Maryland, and Virginia’s “contributory negligence” doctrine means that for one party to collect from the other’s insurance, they have to be 0% at fault, not even 1%, and generally also have to be able to prove that.
The app lets you enter all of the relevant facts from a crash into a form, take photos to store with the report, record audio or make a drawing of the area. You can email the crash data to WABA, which can often help advise cyclists on the process. There are buttons to call 911, get a taxi, or reach police or a hospital.
A medical expense tracker helps injured cyclists keep a log of all of the costs for medical bills, medicine, and even lost wages, which they might need to claim on insurance.
Other features of the app include a guide to bicycle laws, a flashlight (which didn’t work on my new Nexus 4 running Android 4.2.1), and a link to become a member of WABA.
Hopefully you will never need most of the app’s features, and can just use it as a handy pocket reference to the bicycle laws. But if you do get into a crash, it’ll be useful to have the app handy. Search for “WABA” on your Google Play Store or iPhone App Store to download it for free.