Apple’s crash detection is causing trouble on the ski slopes. How to prevent Accident detection from notifying the emergency services by mistake?
Your iPhone and your AppleWatch want to take care of you, but sometimes these devices are overzealous. To try to save your life in the event of a car accident, these can prevent the emergency services for you. But sometimes this emergency system is triggered accidentally. One moment you’re skiing on the slopes, the next you’re explaining to the police that no, you’re not in mortal danger.
Apple’s crash detection is causing trouble on the ski slopes
The feature at fault here is, of course, Crash Detection found in iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, as well as the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch SE. The system analyzes your surroundings to determine if you are in a serious accident. The devices take into account frontal, side, rear and rollover impacts, according to Apple. Unfortunately, the set is a bit very sensitive.
KSL reports several cases of Accident Detection being triggered, not because of car accidents, but simply for users who were skiing. According to the local emergency services, their services are alerted three to five times a day for this false reason.
Apple thought and designed Accident detection with a buffer period. When your iPhone or Apple Watch detects an accident, you have 20 seconds to tell if you are in fact the victim of an accident. When you’re skiing, well, you’re likely to miss that 20-second window, and help is alerted.
And the police are not the only ones to be warned. If you have defined emergency contacts, your iPhone or your Apple Watch will notify them too, by sending them your location. They could then wonder how a car accident can occur in the middle of a ski area, but hey…
This is not the first time that Accident Detection has been caught in this way. Apple had already had to deploy a patch after iPhone owners saw their device contact the emergency services during a roller coaster ride. An additional example therefore that any activity with a high speed, or at least, significant variations in speed, can trigger the system.
That being said, you probably don’t want your mountain vacation to be constantly interrupted by emergency services either. If you know you’re going skiing, you can disable the feature’s autocalls. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Emergency Call, then turn off “Call after Serious Accident”. To turn off the feature on your Apple Watch, open the Watch app on your iPhone, choose “Emergency Call” and turn off “Call after Serious Accident”. Remember to reactivate the system before returning to your vehicle.
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Be careful, your iPhone could call the police when you ski
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