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WABA app helps cyclists track, report crashes

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.

Screen shots of the app, for both Android and iPhone.

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.

David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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I just put the app on my phone and looked it over. It's really good. The accident report form is a handy tool I hope I never have to use. The traffic regulations section is a handy tool too, but scofflaw drivers never hang around long enough. Still, it will win me bar bets.

by crin on Jan 23, 2013 12:33 pm • linkreport

Downloaded though I hope to never use it.

by drumz on Jan 23, 2013 1:40 pm • linkreport

The main screen doesn't render properly on my phone (Samsung Galaxy S3 - Android v. 4.1.1), and the light feature does not work.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jan 23, 2013 2:10 pm • linkreport

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jan 23, 2013 2:10 pm • linkreport

sorry, this whole "posting an image in a comment" thing is something i'm still working on...

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jan 23, 2013 2:11 pm • linkreport

That's weird, Geoff, as it seems to work on the S3 in this house.

by MB on Jan 23, 2013 5:37 pm • linkreport

MB: What version of Android do you have? The light works for me (David pointed out that the slider actually needs to be tapped to make it work), but as you can see above, the text and logos are a mess.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jan 23, 2013 5:44 pm • linkreport

I'll let you know as soon as it arrives home. (And FWIW, I can't see your images above.)

by MB on Jan 23, 2013 5:45 pm • linkreport

I'm seeing the same issue on my Galaxy S3

by DCAKen on Jan 24, 2013 11:02 am • linkreport

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