Apple’s Crash Detection Feature Causing Problems? Rescue Teams Report Several False Alarms

Several reports imply that Apple’s Crash Detection feature may still have some flaws.

Apple’s Crash Detection feature is intended to identify serious auto accidents involving sedans, minivans, SUVs, pickup trucks, and other passenger cars, including frontal, side, rear, and rollover impacts.

The feature will prompt your iPhone or Apple Watch to sound an alarm and display an alert when a serious auto accident is found. However, several reports find that the feature has been a hit or miss in several incidents.

Read Also: Apple iPhone 14 Crash Detection on Roller Coasters Keeps Calling 911

Helicopter Rescue Teams Report False Crash Detection Alerts

According to The Globe and Mail, rescue teams have rushed to alerts in several instances only to find false alarms due to “the Apple Problem”.

Apple claims its new accident detection software can “identify serious car crashes” and would immediately contact emergency services if a device’s user does not dismiss alarms within 20 seconds. The software is available for a limited number of iPhones and watches. 

In one recent incident, MacRumors reports that stomach-turning rides at US theme parks triggered Apple’s accident detection technology, and when ski resorts opened south of the border, another wave of pointless 911 calls appeared. 

“We’ve been waiting for the Apple problem,” Kyle Hale, the manager of Golden and District Search and Rescue (GADSAR) recalled the incident. “We kind of anticipated [Sunday’s call] being a false activation, but we had to resource it, so we got in a helicopter and flew 40 minutes out into the middle of nowhere.”

Apple has not responded to comment on any of the recent incidents caused by its Crash Detection feature.

How Does Apple’s Crash Detection Work?

According to Apple Support, emergency calls are made using a cellular connection or Wi-Fi Calling from an Apple Watch or iPhone connected to the Internet. 

Your iPhone or Apple Watch will sound an alarm and display an alert when a serious auto accident is found and users can refer to these steps to make a command:

  • Your iPhone reads the alert, in case you cannot see the screen. If you have only your phone, the screen displays an Emergency Call slider and your phone can call emergency services.
  • Your Apple Watch chimes and taps your wrist, and checks in with you on the screen. If you have only your watch, the screen displays an Emergency Call slider. If you have a watch with cellular or your watch is connected to Wi-Fi, it can call emergency services.
  • If you have your iPhone and Apple Watch, the Emergency Call slider appears only on your watch, and the call is connected and the call audio plays from your watch.
  • If you are able, you can choose to call emergency services or dismiss the alert.
  • If you are unable to respond, your device automatically calls emergency services after a 20-second delay.
  • If you have added emergency contacts, your device sends a message to share your location and let them know that you’ve been in a severe car crash.
  • If you have set up your Medical ID, your device displays a Medical ID slider, so that emergency responders can access your medical information.

Apple’s Crash Detection feature currently works on these iPhone and Apple Watch models:

  • iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models with the latest version of iOS
  • Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE (2nd generation), and Apple Watch Ultra with the latest version of watchOS

Related Article: Apple iOS 16.1.2 Update Optimizes Car Crash Detection for iPhone 14 Pro Models

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