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New iPhone Crash Collision Feature Is Calling 911 For People On Rollercoasters

The only emergency here is needing a change of pants.

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Jack Dunhill

Social Media Coordinator and Staff Writer

clockOct 10 2022, 15:39 UTC
rollercoaster
The new iPhone thinks you need extra help. Image Credit ivanvislov/Shutterstock.com

A new safety feature has arrived with the iPhone 14 that automatically notifies emergency services after detecting the owner has been in a collision, but it has not shipped without some pretty annoying bugs – reports in the US are suggesting 911 has been notified multiple times by the feature after confusing people on rollercoasters with people in a car crash. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, thrill-seekers at Kings Island amusement park have triggered the feature six times recently, immediately alerting authorities with a phone call in which a message is repeated seven times and includes the background noise from the users’ phone. One message, which reads “the owner of this iPhone was in a severe car crash and is not responding to their phone”, combined with the screams of people on a rollercoaster, really makes a concerning call for emergency dispatchers.  

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A team was dispatched to the ride, where they found no emergency, before the owner of the phone called 911 to assure them all was well. 

What’s worse is that the Crash Detection feature can even alert friends and family, which can make for some heart-wrenching false alarms. One Twitter user, originally reported by BBC News, noted that when his iPhone fell off his motorbike, it alerted his “whole family that he was dead.” 

When a severe car crash is detected, your iPhone or Apple Watch sounds an alarm and displays an alert. Image credit: Apple
When a severe car crash is detected, your iPhone or Apple Watch sounds an alarm and displays an alert. Image credit: Apple


“If you’re unable to respond, your device automatically calls emergency services after a 20-second delay,” according to Apple support.

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“If you’ve 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.”

It’s not all bad, though, as the feature has already proven useful in alerting authorities of a fatal crash that claimed the lives of six people in Nebraska earlier this month. In the cases that it works, the alert comes through significantly faster than a human call ever could – maybe it’s best to wait for confirmation before breaking the news to loved ones, however. 


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