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Could 'smart bike' reduce bike accidents in New York City?

Bicycles are a common sight on New York City streets. In addition to the many residents who ride bicycles as a part of their jobs, residents using bikes as a mode of transportation are also frequently seen navigating the streets along with other motor vehicles. Much of the time these interactions are uneventful. Other times however, the modes of transportation cross paths with devastating results.

Even when a cyclist is wearing a helmet, the force of the impact a person on a bicycle absorbs when struck by a car, truck or bus is great. In minor accidents it could lead to broken bones. In more serious accidents the collision could result in more traumatic injuries or even death. Though no cyclist expects to be involved in an accident involving a motor vehicle, they do happen in New York City, all too frequently.

Several mechanical engineering students are seeking to make the activity of riding a bike a safer endeavor. Known as the Interactive Bicyclist Accident Prevention System, the “smart bike” they have created does a variety of things. In addition to informing the rider of things such as being within three feet of a vehicle, it also communicates with drivers in close proximity to the bicycle through an auditory message that instructs the driver of that vehicle to steer the car away from the bicycle. Eventually the creators would like to create a system that would allow the bicycle to “talk” to the surrounding cars the way that some cars already can.

The system is made up of two consoles, one for each end of the bicycle.

While only time will tell if this, or a similar system, will be used widely with bicycles, in the meantime cyclists continue to be injured in bicycle accidents. Those individuals may receive compensation for those injuries via a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: The Boston Globe, "'Smart Bike' focuses on safety," Martine Powers, Feb. 16, 2014

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