Apple’s crash detection feature is calling 911 while people are skiing

Image titled Your iPhone Could Call the Police on You for Skiing

Your iPhone and Apple Watch want to keep you safe, but sometimes, they’re a little overzealous about it. In an effort to save your life in the event of a car accident, they will reach out to emergency services on your behalf and tell them what is happening. Only occasionally, do they mistake innocuous activities for catastrophic accidents. One minute, you’re enjoying skiing down the slopes; Next, you’re convincing the police that no, you’re not actually in danger.

The feature at fault here is crash detection, a new addition to recent Apple devices, including the iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max, as well as the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra, and the latest . Apple Watch SE. Using the latest technology in these devices, Crash Detection analyzes your surroundings to determine if you are in a serious accident. according to appleThe devices look for “front-impact, side-impact, and rear-end collisions, and rollovers” involving “sedans, minivans, SUVs, pickup trucks and other passenger cars.”

However, it seems that the feature is a bit very Sensitive. As reported by KSLDispatchers in Summit County, Utah, are experiencing an increase in emergency calls because of Apple’s crash detection, but not because Utah drivers are hitting each other more. As it turns out, the feature is shutting down while some users have been skiing. It’s not clear whether the crash detection is triggered by the speed the skiers are moving, or when skiers fall while moving fast, but according to Suzie Butterfield, supervisor at the Summit County Dispatch Center, dispatchers receive three to five of these alerts. days, and none by actual accidents.

Apple designed crash detection with a short grace period to prevent the device from contacting emergency services. When your iPhone or Apple Watch triggers crash detection, you have 20 seconds to pretend you weren’t in an accident. Of course, when you’re actively skiing, you’re almost guaranteed to miss these alerts, leaving you in the lurch to emergency services.

It is not just the police who are informed. If you set up emergency contacts, your iPhone or Apple Watch will tell those contacts that you’ve been in a serious accident, and send them your current location so they can help. They may be curious why you had a serious car accident in the middle of a ski resort, but, hey, stranger things have happened.

This isn’t the first time crash detection has been spoofed. Apple had to patch a problem where iPhones Contacting Emergency Services While Their Users Were Riding a Roller Coaster, That issue, plus these skiing anecdotes, suggests crash detection can be tricked by specific, high-speed activities. Could the ride on a particularly bumpy subway car be a convenience to begin with? How about rollerblading? We may see more of these events over time.

The dispatcher interviewed in the article doesn’t want people to turn off the feature entirely, as it could save lives in a true emergency. A user’s Apple Watch Series 8 EMS crashed in five minuteswhen he would otherwise not have the ability to reach 911 himself.

How to stop crash detection from accidentally calling 911

That said, you also don’t want your ski weekend to be made up of constant calls to emergency services. If you know you’re going to be skiing, you can disable the automatic calling portion of the feature. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Emergency SOS, then disable “Call after serious accident”. To disable the feature on your Apple Watch, open the Watch app on your iPhone, then select “Emergency SOS” and disable calls after severe crashes. JooRemember to turn it back on before you hit the road.


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