Gadget fans know that if you want to get ahead, get some new technology.
But for cyclists, technology can now be a lifesaver, in the form of a crash helmet and an iPhone app which dials the emergency services when a cyclist is injured in an accident.
The ICEdot crash helmet was developed by tech researchers at the ICEdot software company in Oklahoma – and has a built in sensor, which uses Bluetooth technology to alert the iPhone app to dial the emergency services in the event of an impact to the helmet.
The crash helmet sensor estimates the severity of an impact and the user can set the alarm for any period between 15 and 60 seconds, before the emergency services are dialled automatically from their iPhone using the app.
For not so serious cycle crashes, the cyclist just turns off the alarm before it starts dialling 999.
However, once the emergency services have been contacted, the app will also relay info such as location using the iPhone’s GPS.
The user can also pre-programme details of any medical conditions which the emergency teams might need to know – including asthma or diabetes, or information about any allergic reactions to penicillin or other medications.
Cyclists are becoming more and more vulnerable to collisions as they vie for road space with articulated lorries, buses and other road users who may not be as alert at the wheel as they should be.
The ICEdot team which developed the protective helmet and emergency app worked with top cyclists to produce the prototype – cyclists and cycling companies worldwide have expressed interest in the crash helmet and app, which is expected to launch in the UK in April 2013 and cost around £120. The cost will include annual membership of ICEdot services. The crash helmet bears the yellow ICE logo to show that the technology is being used.
In the UK, more and more accidents involving cyclists are being reported in the media – many of these involve drivers of HGVs or buses not being able to see cyclists from a blind spot in their cabs, leading to a collision which may be fatal or cause severe head and/or crush injuries.
Figures from the Department of Transport reveal that In the UK, 10% of adults cycle at least once every week – and in some areas of the country, at least 50% of adults may get on their bike at least once every week.
Having a cycling related road accident can leave you distressed and can cause serious damage to your body and mind.