Apple Directs Users Not to Hang Up on Operators in Accidental Crash Detection Calls

With the iPhone 14 models, Apple introduced a Crash Detection feature that is designed to contact emergency services automatically should a collision be detected. Crash Detection has already saved lives, but there have also been a number of complaints about the option accidentally triggering at ski resorts, amusement parks, and in other non-emergency high-activity situations.

iphone 14 pro car crash detection
Apple has introduced Crash Detection optimizations in the last several iOS 16 updates to try to cut down on false calls, and now the company has new recommendations for users that accidentally activate the crash detection feature. In an updated Crash Detection support document, Apple directs users not to hang up if an accidental call is placed, and to instead explain to the emergency responder that help is not required.

If the call has been made, but you don't need emergency services, don't hang up. Wait until a responder answers, then explain that you don't need help.

Apple also removed a line in the support document that suggested users cancel a call during the timer period. "If you don't need to contact emergency services, tap Cancel and confirm that you don't need emergency services," read the sentence that has been pulled from the document.

The Crash Detection support site continues to suggest that users should dismiss an alert if they are able to do so, but Apple appears to want to put a stop to iPhone users canceling or hanging up on an already-started emergency call and leaving emergency responders wondering what happened.

Emergency dispatchers around ski slopes have been particularly unhappy with the number of accidental calls that are being received from Crash Detection. Skiing and snowboarding tumbles are able to trigger Crash Detection, and with the heavy clothing worn with these activities, ‌iPhone‌ and Apple Watch users sometimes don't notice that an emergency call has been placed.

In Colorado's Summit County, for example, 185 accidental Crash Detection calls were received in a week in January, wasting time and resources needed for actual emergencies. Summit County emergency services director Trina Dummer said in February that the situation threatens to "desensitize dispatchers and divert limited resources from true emergencies."

Apple in response sent four representatives to Summit County to observe the emergency call center, and further optimizations have since been added.

Crash Detection is available on the ‌iPhone 14‌ models and the latest Apple Watch models. Using sensors like the accelerometer and gyroscope, it can detect a severe car crash and automatically call emergency services if a user does not respond to an alert within 20 seconds.

Popular Stories

iOS 18 CarPlay Feature

iOS 18 Adds These 5 New Features to CarPlay

Thursday June 13, 2024 7:44 am PDT by
Apple did not mention CarPlay during its WWDC keynote this week, but iOS 18 includes a handful of new features for the in-car software. Overall, there is not a whole lot new for CarPlay on iOS 18, with changes seemingly limited to the Messages and Settings apps so far. Below, we recap everything new for CarPlay on iOS 18. New for CarPlay on iOS 18 1. Contact Photos in Messages App...
apple watch series 9 display

Kuo: Apple Watch Series 10 to Get Larger Screen and Thinner Design

Monday June 17, 2024 1:20 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 10 will be thinner and come in larger screen sizes than previous models, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his latest industry note -10-and-98075c44ce92">shared on Medium, Kuo said the screen size options on the next-generation Apple Watch will increase from 41mm to 45mm, and from 45mm to 49mm, while being encased in a thinner design. For reference,...
iPod Nano vs iPod Pro Ad Feature 1

Apple Developing Thinner MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone

Monday June 17, 2024 2:22 am PDT by
Apple intends to slim down the MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone, with the new ultra-thin M4 iPad Pro a sign of the company's new design trajectory, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. When the M4 iPad Pro was unveiled last month, Apple touted it as the company's thinnest product ever, and even compared it to the 2012 iPod nano to emphasize its slim dimensions. Writing in the latest ...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

You Can Give Siri a New Name With iOS 18's Vocal Shortcuts

Friday June 14, 2024 4:33 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 18 added a Vocal Shortcuts accessibility feature, and now that iOS 18 is available in a beta capacity, users have figured out that this option can be used to give Siri a new wake word. With Vocal Shortcuts, you can assign a custom phrase that Siri can understand to launch shortcuts and complete "complex tasks," and one of the shortcuts you can set up is an alternative for "Hey...
iOS 18 Wallet Feature

Here's What's New in Apple Wallet on iOS 18 for Event Tickets and More

Friday June 14, 2024 7:32 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a handful of enhancements to the Wallet app on the iPhone, with new features for Apple Pay, Apple Cash, event tickets, and more. Below, we outline everything new for the Wallet app on iOS 18, based on information from Apple's press release and a WWDC 2024 coding session. Redesigned Event Tickets Event tickets have an all-new design in the Wallet app on iOS 18, complete...

Top Rated Comments

JPack Avatar
16 months ago
This message should be shown on the iPhone, not buried in a support document.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MallardDuck Avatar
16 months ago
"We can't fix our logic, so it's your responsibility to solve our problem for us"

Seriously, how hard is it to geofence off the ski slopes?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
3530025 Avatar
16 months ago

This feature gets a lot of hate on here sometimes.

Personally, I had a bike accident about a year ago and broke some bones. As I was gathering myself, the siren started to go off and I was able to cancel it. Luckily, I didn't need it to call 911, but I was very thankful for it going off. I guess that is why I'd rather it be a little too sensitive instead of not sensitive enough. This is one of those things that will never be perfect and that is okay.
This is one view.

Let me give you another standpoint - emergency services have limited capacity and because of these false calls reaction to actual emergency can be delayed and someone may die consequently.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
antiprotest Avatar
16 months ago
Users direct Apple to fix their ****.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Amazing Iceman Avatar
16 months ago
Why not create a sports mode that would also detect crashes but using an adjusted algorithm?
This way, if a skier has an accident and gets covered in snow, he/she could also be saved.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
16 months ago

This feature is some hot mess. Can't understand how it could have been approved when it is not and can not be false-positive proof and so it overloads emergency services and it will continue to do so.
That's black-and-white thinking. There will never been a "perfect" implementation. The goal is to *reduce* false-positives. This feature has saved lives and Apple continues to work hard to refine the detection algorithm. We know and appreciate that. It would be silly to demand that they remove this feature because it's not "perfect".
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)