Skiers Accidentally Activate iPhone Collision Detection

Julie Clover

According to Utah news site KSL, collision detection built into iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and newer Apple Watch models causes skiers to accidentally call emergency services.

Designed to call for help when a car accident is detected. Collision detection can be activated at ski resorts, and dispatchers in Summit County, Utah are seeing an increase in emergency calls.

“We'll get a call to tell you that the owner of this Apple Watch or iPhone has either been in a serious accident or got into a car accident,” Summit County Dispatch Center Supervisor Susie Butterfield told KSL.

With many activations, people don't respond at first because they don't know the call has been made. “Usually they say: “Oh, sorry, I was skiing. It's all right,” said Butterfield.

There are three to five emergency calls per day from Apple devices, and so far none of them have been specifically activated. Butterfield said she doesn't mind random calls because the feature can be useful in a real emergency.

Reddit users have confirmed that skiing can activate the collision detection feature, with one user explaining that he was going down a hill at a moderate pace when his Apple Watch started dialing 911.

You can turn off glitch detection on your iPhone 14 if you're skiing at any type of pace at all . I went out for the first time yesterday. I had my phone in my pocket and raced down Tinkerbell at a perfectly moderate pace, making short turns on my second run of the year. To give you an idea of ​​how moderately, I just passed a slow sign with three security patrols and none of them even raised an eyebrow at me! I stopped to wait for my wife, and my phone immediately began to yell: “Did you have an accident? We'll call emergency services in 20 seconds! I disabled it as quickly as possible, and then immediately disabled all emergency alert features.

Apart from Crash Detection on the ‌iPhone 14‌ models, Apple Watch Series 8, the new Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Ultra, some Apple devices also have fall detection, which can also lead to emergency calls.

Butterfield said she doesn't recommend enabling ‌ iPhone‌ and Apple Watch security features are disabled. “We don't mind taking this call because if something really happens, we want to get in touch with you,” she said.

The new ‌iPhone‌ and Apple Watch models have also been a rollercoaster ride, and just today, Apple released the iOS 16.1.2 update, which includes “crash detection optimizations.” Apple hasn't provided details on what this means, but it's likely intended to reduce accidental alerts where there was no real car crash.

Thanks Justinie!


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