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iPhone 14 is reporting roller coaster rides as car crashes to 911

Think twice before taking your new iPhone on a ride.
By
October 10, 2022
Apple Event 2022 iphone 14 crash detection
Apple
TL;DR
  • The new iPhones are reporting false car crashes to 911 while their owners are riding on roller coasters.
  • Multiple such incidents have triggered an emergency response from authorities, wasting their valuable time and resources.

Imagine hopping on a roller coaster at a theme park and finding that your phone falsely called 911 multiple times during the ride to tell emergency services that you’ve been in a severe car crash. Well, that’s what’s happened to multiple iPhone 14 owners.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Crash Detection feature on the new iPhones is being falsely triggered while their owners enjoy some thrilling rides at amusement parks.

The report shares the experience of one Sara White, a 39-year-old dentist who took her iPhone 14 Pro on a roller coaster ride at the Kings Island amusement park outside Cincinnati. As she enjoyed being whipped around at 50 mph, her iPhone alerted emergency responders that she had been in a car crash. After the ride, she discovered she had several missed calls and voicemails from emergency dispatchers asking her if she was okay.

You can listen to the call made by her iPhone 14 Pro to the Warren County Communications Center, where an automated voice tells emergency services that “the owner of this iPhone was in a severe car crash and is not responding to their phone.”A team was also sent to the ride to check for any accidents, but they could not locate any emergency. When Ms. White realized her iPhone had activated the Crash Detection feature by mistake, she called the emergency services back to tell them she was fine.

The incident might sound amusing, but something like this is a waste of valuable time for emergency responders. Since the Crash Detection feature on iPhones also notifies emergency contacts, which could be close friends or family members, a falsely triggered report could cause major stress and confusion for no reason.

WSJ reports that this isn’t the only time an iPhone 14 mistakenly called emergency services when its owner was, in fact, not in danger. The Warren County Communications Center provided the publication with recordings of six other iPhone Crash Detection calls from people at Kings Island rides, all received since the iPhone 14 went on sale in September.

Similar alerts have also been triggered by the Joker roller coaster at Six Flags Great America near Chicago. Some people also said their new iPhones made 911 calls after they were dropped while driving or right after.

While these false car crash reports aren’t extremely widespread, they are happening nonetheless. Such incidents could get more frequent when more people get their hands on Apple’s new phones.

The company’s response to questions from WSJ was that “the technology provides peace of mind, and Apple will continue to improve it over time.”