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What is Apple Crash Detection and how does it work?

Apple keeping you safe at all times!
By
September 19, 2022
Apple Crash Detection on iPhone and Watch
Apple

Apple made plenty of exciting announcements at its September 7, 2022, “Far Out” event. These include the iPhone 14 series, a few Apple Watches, and the new AirPods Pro. Of course, Apple events are rarely all about hardware, and Apple sure took the opportunity to introduce some new features across the board. One of the most interesting ones is Crash Detection. Let’s tell you all about it.

What is Apple Crash Detection?

Apple’s Crash Detection is a new feature coming to the latest iPhones and Apple Watches. Whether you’re wearing an Apple Watch or carrying your phone around, the device can use a series of sensors and tools to determine if you’ve been in a “severe crash.” These include “front-impact, side-impact, and rear-end collisions, and rollovers involving sedans, minivans, SUVs, pickup trucks, and other passenger cars.”

The device will take a series of actions when the system detects a crash. Here they are, in order.

What Apple Crash Detection does when it detects an accident:

  • When a crash is detected, the user will hear an alert announcement (or a chime, if using an Apple Watch). The screen will allow making a call to emergency services with a simple swipe. Alternatively, there will be an option to Cancel.
  • The SOS screen will stay for 10 seconds. If the user takes no action, it will start another 10-second timer. Emergency services will be called after the 20 seconds pass with no interaction with the user.
  • An audio message saying “the owner of this iPhone has been in a severe car crash and is not responding to their phone” will play on repeat, with five-second silence in between. The phone will also provide emergency services with an estimated location.
  • If possible, users can speak to emergency services during this call. The automated message will be played at a reduced volume after the first announcement is made.
  • When the 911 call ends, the phone will start another 10-second countdown, after which it will alert your emergency contacts that there’s been a crash. Of course, this is assuming they’ve been set up.
  • A slider will also appear, showing your Medical ID info when swiped. Medical ID also needs to be configured beforehand.

Which devices support Apple Crash Detection?

Apple iPhone 14 back standing square on bookshelf
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Crash Detection is a brand new Apple feature. Only the latest devices will support it until further notice. Here’s an official list of supported products.

These devices must be running their latest software version for Crash Detection to work appropriately.

How does Apple Crash Detection work?

Apple devices take advantage of various sensors, components, and data to determine if there’s been a severe crash. These include the gyroscope, accelerometer, GPS, barometer, and audio from the microphone. Apple’s motion algorithms will work together to activate Crash Detection when appropriate.

Turning off Apple Crash Detection

Apple iPhone 14 homescreen in hand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

If you don’t care much for this feature, it’s simple to turn off Apple’s crash detection. Here are some instructions to do so.

How to turn it off on iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Emergency SOS.
  3. Turn off Call After Severe Crash.

How to turn it off on Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Look for the My Watch tab.
  3. Select Emergency SOS.
  4. Turn off Call After Severe Crash.

Not Convinced by any of these options? Thankfully there are plenty of great iPhone 14 series alternatives worth your consideration.

FAQs

Only the latest iPhones and Apple Watches come with Crash Detection. These include the iPhone 14 series, Apple Watch Series 8, second-gen Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra.

Yes. The option is in the Emergency SOS section within the settings.

We can’t vouch for this service’s reliability just yet, and we probably won’t be willingly testing it (sorry). That said, Apple is very clear about the fact that not all crashes can be detected. This is why the wording specifies it’s for severe crashes.

Apple Crash Detection doesn’t have a price. It’s an included feature.