Crash reporting tool

A web application that collects reports of bicycle crashes from members of the public. I first wrote about my desire for doing this on November 30, 2010, although I had the idea of doing this two years ago when I first came across B-SMaRT. Thanks to Cyclelicious for posting this.


  • To collect data on underreported and non-reported crashes
    • Person riding a bike crashes because of slippery material in the roadway, or metal grate bridge
    • A bicyclist crashes with another bicyclist (this data is not collected by IDOT)
    • A bicyclist crashes with a pedestrian (this data is not collected by IDOT)
  • A forum for those involved in crashes to share their stories
  • Identify problem locations and conditions

Potential features

  • Users click on a map to point out the location of their crash
  • Users input an address to point out the location of their crash

Inspiration, resources

Accident and word choice

Definitions of “accident” from Apple's built-in Oxford English Dictionary.

  • “an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury” - Bike crashes may seem unexpected and unintentional but this is not always the case. We can predict the occurrence of crashes with bicycles and in some cases, a crash involving a bicyclist may be intentional.
  • “an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause” - There is a determinable cause for all crashes. The most common type of crashes involving bicyclists are preventable.

Alternatives include

  • crash
  • collision

Both of these alternatives imply that two or more vehicles hit each other…and that's it.


Comment Commenter
There is a great open source program called Ushahidi that was developed to track incidents in the civil war in Kenya a couple of years ago that has been used for all kinds of purposes since then; I am using it to track heritage buildings at risk at and it is easy to set up, has iPhone and Android apps, very effective crowdsourcing software.
I think mapping progs are more functional when you can toggle layers. For instance, I don't care about drunken crashes since that has nothing to do with location. I also delineate between “a cyclist lost control and crashed” and “a car driver turned into the cyclist.” The former more often occurs on hills, or poorly engineered roads with raised sewer grates for example, where the latter is more likely from traffic engineering issues such as right hooks where special lanes or markings don't exist.
Sounds like a good idea to me. I was thinking of the “Struck in DC” blog and the guy who was looking for witnesses to his accident…maybe something like commenting ability or a link that says “I witnessed this accident!” Lindsay Banks
BikeBingle runs on Google App Engine, mainly so that I don't have to pay for hosting but it did also serve as a great development platform. Server side code written in Python, client is written in Java (then compiled to JavaScript using GWT). Would be willing to open source or a least involve others in the development as further development has been non-existent of the last few years. Lachlan Hurst


Data dictionary

A. Incapacitating injury – any injury other than fatal injury, which prevents the injured person from walking, driving, or normally continuing the activities he/she was capable of performing before the injury occurred. Includes severe lacerations, broken limbs, skull or chest injuries, and abdominal injuries.

B. Nonincapacitating injury – any injury other than fatal or incapacitating injury which is evident to observers at the scene of the crash. Includes lump on head, abrasions, bruises, minor lacerations.

C. Possible injury – any injury reported or claimed which is not either of the above injuries. Includes momentary unconsciousness, claims of injuries not evident, limping, complaint of pain, nausea, hysteria.

PD - Property damage

Chicago deaths

2/24/08 Matt Manger-Lynch
4/20/08 Tyler Fabeck
5/22/09 Trenton Booker, 13
6/9/08 Clinton Miceli
8/13/07 Ryan Boudreau
9/11/07 Blanca Ocasio
10/21/09 Liza Whitacre


/home/stevevance/ · Last modified: 2011/05/16 19:53 by stevevance
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