New App Will Automatically Detect Pedestrian Collisions, Pay Nominal Fine

A new app for motorists will “streamline” pedestrian collisions, its maker said—not just for drivers, but for victims and police as well.

The app, called BoomZoom, works in tandem with tiny sensors placed around a vehicle’s exterior. To minimize false alarms, the sensors are calibrated to ignore minor bumps and vibrations; when they detect a major impact, however, the app immediately alerts the user; sends the victim’s location to the nearest hospital; and, because the app is linked to the user’s credit card number or PayPal account, automatically pays whatever nominal fine is typical for the jurisdiction in question.

Collisions are announced with a sound—users can choose among chirp, doorbell, slide-whistle, or Beethoven’s “Für Elise”—and an on-screen message, such as “GLANCING BLOW,” “ADULT COLLISION,” or “HUMAN ON GRILL.”

“It is such a time saver,” said Stacey Dash, the app’s chief developer. “Until now, drivers had to slow or even stop when they hit a pedestrian—and that’s assuming they even knew they’d hit someone, which was not always the case.”

In addition, Dash said, there was dealing with police, filing accident reports, traffic court, and more. All of which, she noted, took up valuable time for the authorities, as well.

“It’s a real hassle,” she said. “Or used to be, before our app. Now all that stuff happens in the blink of an eye. It’s seamless.”

Driving advocates applauded the new app.

“Drivers are busy enough as it is,” said Alicia Silverstone, a spokeswoman for the American Motorists Union. “They have places to go, smartphones to monitor, huge interactive dashboard screens to watch, and entertainment systems to navigate. This app gives them one less thing to worry about.”

Paul Rudd, an expert on vehicle design and consultant for the auto industry, agreed.

“With today’s large trucks and SUVs,” Rudd said, “drivers often find it hard to even see pedestrians from their elevated vantage points and over their vehicles’ enormous hoods.”

“An app like BoomZoom means they don’t have to. In the unfortunate event of a collision, drivers pay their nominal fine, justice is served, and everyone can move on.”

BoomZoom is free with ads for local auto body shops. A premium version costs $4.99.