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Unlikely Partnership: iPhones and Rollercoasters Accused of Causing False 911 Calls

Apple Introduces Crash Detection Feature

Apple introduced the Crash Detection feature alongside its latest iPhone and Apple Watch models. While this feature has gained recognition for its life-saving capabilities, it has also been responsible for unintentional 911 calls in certain situations.

An Unintended Consequence

During a music festival, the Crash Detection feature resulted in several false alarms to the emergency dispatch teams. A similar incident occurred at a major agricultural fair on the US East Coast, where the fairgrounds experienced a dozen abandoned 911 calls. Police officers have requested callers to remain on the line or answer follow-up calls to address this issue.

The Connection to Rollercoasters

Rollercoasters and amusement park rides are believed to be triggering the Crash Detection feature in iPhones and Apple Watches. The intense and rapid movements experienced during these rides can mimic the patterns of a car crash, causing the sensors to interpret them as potential accidents.

If your device is on your person during a rollercoaster ride, the sensors may detect the movements and activate the Crash Detection feature. This leads to an alarm sounding and an alert appearing on both your phone and watch screens.

If you are unable to respond to the alert within 20 seconds, your device will automatically dial emergency services. The call will indicate that you have been in a severe accident and will share your location with the dispatcher. While this feature is useful, it can sometimes be triggered by the intense movements of a rollercoaster, resulting in false alarms.

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