Take a Tumble on the Ski Slopes? Make Sure Your iPhone 14 Doesn’t Call 911

While there is evidence that the iPhone 14’s Crash Detection feature has helped drivers involved in car accidents, it’s also still triggering 911 calls for activities like skiing or riding a roller coaster.

As MacRumors reports(Opens in a new window), Crash Detection—which uses sensors that activate the device to call emergency services if it senses someone has been in a car crash—has been responsible for an influx of accidental 911 calls since its rollout in September.

Apple included “Crash Detection optimizations” with its iOS 16.1.2(Opens in a new window) update last month, though it didn’t specify what exactly was optimized. The iPhone 14 apparently still can’t tell the difference between a skiier taking a tumble and a person involved in a car crash.

As The Colorado Sun reports(Opens in a new window), 911 operators in Pitkin County, Colorado, are receiving up to 20 accidental iPhone 14 calls a day, requiring operators to divert resources from real emergencies.

“These calls involve a tremendous amount of resources, from dispatchers to deputies to ski patrollers. And I don’t think we’ve ever had an actual emergency event,” Trina Drummer, interim director of the 911 center in Summit County, tells the Sun.

According to Colorado dispatch services, not a single 911 call from iPhones on the state’s ski slopes this month has been about a real emergency.

Still, the feature has done its job in some cases. Earlier this week, the Crash Detection feature successfully alerted the Vail Police Department to a real car crash. 

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Summit County’s Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons told the Colorado Sun that he has shared his concerns about the feature with Apple, though “it feels like we are trying to turn a battleship in a bathtub.” Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Crash Detection is on by default, but if you have an iPhone 14 and anticipate falling on the slopes or riding roller coasters, you can turn it off by navigating to Settings > Emergency SOS and toggling Call After Severe Crash to off.

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