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New App to Help Prevent Car Accidents in Boston?

There’s a Stachetastic app that lets you to customize mustaches for yourself. There’s a Ginger Booth app to let you see what you’d look like as a red head. And there’s even a Sleep Talk Recorder app to record yourself in your sleep, just in case you sleep talk.

While some may find these apps to be a silly, entertaining or even magical, there are apps that may actually help to make life easier and less stressful. Some might even be able to help to reduce the risks of car accidents in Boston and elsewhere, like the new SeeClickFix app. This is an app that helps motorists to report potholes to local officials.
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Here’s how it works. When a driver observes a pothole, they take a picture of it and send it to city hall, according to CNN. Some don’t have much faith in this app though, saying that drivers are lazy and probably won’t take the time to take that picture and send it off. Boston’s got a better idea on how to get this information to the appropriate officials.

Our Boston personal injury attorneys understand that government officials are required to ensure that roadways are safe for travel. Dangerous roadways can lead to dangerous car accidents, and someone’s got to be held accountable for that. It’s not the driver’s fault in many cases. Unsafe and poorly maintained roadways are dangerous and can result in death if they’re not properly addressed by city officials. Many feel that reports from drivers can help to keep roadways safe.

That’s the idea behind the new “Street Bump” app, an Andriod app that’s currently piloted by the City of Boston. This new app is expected to be released in the summer and it will help the digital sensors in smartphones to do the detecting. The phone’s accelerometer will be able to locate these potholes when you’re driving, and when it does, the app pairs up the data about bumps you encounter with a GPS coordinate. This information is then sent on to a citywide database.

Nigel Jacob, a member of the mayor’s office of New Urban Mechanics, is hoping that Boston and other cities will soon grab hold to these kinds of apps and help to keep track of road conditions so that officials can prioritize which roadways need the work first. It will help to notify the cities regarding which areas and which potholes are the worst.

Jacobs says that technologies like this can not only save motorists from accidents, but they can help to save the city a little cash, too.

The app was created and tested back in 2011. The only problem with it was that the system wasn’t able to differentiate between a pothole, a speed bump, a railroad track and another kind of road bump. Since then, the city launched a worldwide challenge in partnership with InnoCentive. Within the challenge was a $25,000 prize for whoever could come up with an app that could differentiate between various road bumps.

Three winners were named in this challenge and now the city is working with all three of them to implement their algorithmic solutions.

Car accidents can be caused by a number of factors. According to SmartMotorist.com, these top causes are equipment failure, roadway design, poor roadway maintenance and driver behavior.

If you or a family member has been injured or killed in a car accident in Boston or elsewhere in the state of Massachusetts, contact Boston Injury Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman. Our firm offers free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.

Additional Resources:

Street Bump app detects potholes, tells city officials, by John D. Sutter, CNN
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