Would you like to have a cost-effective, eco-friendly way of transportation that also helps you with your health? Guess what! The best option is the bicycle. Now consider this: When you are on the road, you want to feel safe and get to your destination on time. However, there are some problems that we have to face when we are on the road. Our App, Instapik aims to promote cyclists road safety
In recent years, more and more people are deciding to use the bicycle as a cost-effective, eco-friendly and beneficial way of transportation. However, the high risk of riding the bike causes people to stop using it and choose to use another form of transportation that makes them feel safer. This scenery of danger not only occurs in Colombia, it is a worldwide problem. In the European Union, for instance, there has been a systematic increase of accidents between bicycles and vehicles over the past 30 years. According to the Institute on Traffic and Road Safety (INTRAS),”Giving the characteristics of the vehicle and the low use of passive safety measure, cyclists are, together with pedestrians, the road users most vulnerable to serious injuries in the event of an accident”. According to the data provided by the report of FORENSIS (2016), the third way of transportation with the highest death rate is the bicycle, after pedestrians and motorcycles.
In most cases, the cyclists only think about their rights and not about their responsibilities and the rules they must follow when using the road. Moreover, they do not know the hand signals that they have to use or the gear that they must wear for their safety and, as a result of this lack of knowledge, accidents also take place. However, this lack of knowledge is not only from the cyclist, other road users do not give the necessary importance to the cyclists or respect their spaces which create conflicts between users. As mentioned in the article “Death of cyclists on the road increases by 31% this year” (2019) by Claudia Garcia Fino, Principal of the legal medicine institute, “It is a two-way matter, for drivers and cyclists, the culture, the formation and the care for others”. Additional to this, some people do not use this way of transportation due to the poor condition of the roads and the absence of bike lines in some places.
We created a survey to understand better the problem of safe cycling and we got 179 answers. Some of our most relevant results are:
- 68,72% of the surveyed people say that they are agree with an application that needs they location and that they find this useful because it helps them to locate themselves and look a better route to their destination.
- 90,5% mention that if the infrastructure was better, they would increase the use of the cycle.
- 51,4% declare that they have had a problem with another user and the data shows that the cyclists are the users that have many problems with other users (33,70%)- This is a tolerance problem.
- The safe equipment cyclists use most is the helmet and the one they use less are the lights, which is a problem since all protective measures are needed to cycle with safety.
We decided to use the technology to improve cyclist’s road safety in a practical way and we developed and application that we entitled Instapick. This application consists of informing cyclists about how to transit in the city and allow them to:
- Study and learn the rights and responsibilities as cyclist
- Review the hand signal manual
- Identify the require safety gear
- Recognize dangerous areas and accidents on the road
- Identify and choose the closest and safest bicycle routes to reach their destination
- Tell other app users and share their experience on the road
Before the pandemic and quarantine, our plan was going to schools and explain to students our work, informing them about our App as a tool they could use when riding a bicycle. It was not possible but we keep this intention for the future when it would be possible. Meanwhile we used other options to share our App: we used Instagram, we shared our App with our friends and contacts using email and text messages, we shared it in the school website to reach the school community. We created a video explaining our project and also in this video we mentioned the other APP (STOP) we developed to limit the use of cell phone on the traffic.
With our App and its different functionalities, we aim helping to promote a better culture on the road and allow to trace an easy, fast, and safe route not only for cyclists but for everyone. This app would help the society as it will inform and educate people about mobility and the proper use of the roads. Furthermore, the report of accidents would decrease because people will have more knowledge and understanding about the rules, laws and requirements that are necessary to transit on the road in a safety way. As a result, more people would choose the bicycle as their first option of mobility.