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Emergency services say: turn off SOS emergency notification and crash detection

Several emergency services advocate turning off SOS emergency notification and crash detection on the iPhone. What is going on?

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Emergency services have their hands full with crash detection

It sounds rather strange: emergency services asking you to turn off your iPhone’s SOS emergency notification and crash detection. Yet it is, because the functions crash detection and SOS emergency notification cause quite a few problems.

Of course, both functions were created to save lives and support emergency services. But because they are regularly activated when it is not necessary at all, this causes a lot of frustration for the emergency services.

Problems while skiing and snowboarding

The problem is that the crash detection is incorrectly activated while skiing and snowboarding. If you do not inform the emergency services that the function has been activated by mistake, they will have to go to the location of the report, while that is not really necessary at all.

A US sheriff from Chicago said his department will receive around 700 false alarm reports in 2022. He saw a significant spike in false reports, especially during the holiday season.

Some of those came from the crash detection feature. Because of these false reports, some emergency services have now said to turn off the function during winter sports activities.

crash detection apple watch

Turning it off is not the solution

However, that does not seem to us to be the solution. Both functions were of course created to save human lives. Still, something has to be done, because if the emergency services go to an unjustified report of crash detection, they can of course not be deployed if something is really wrong.

Here’s a job for Apple to better inform owners of an iPhone (or Apple Watch) with these features. This can be done by explaining in more detail exactly what the functions do and what you should do if you do receive an unjustified notification.

Crash detection in short

Apple’s crash detection is a brand new feature for the iPhone 14 (Plus), iPhone 14 Pro (Max), Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE 2022 and Apple Watch Ultra. With this, your Apple device automatically calls the local emergency number after a car accident and the smartphone or smartwatch also immediately provides your location.

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