iPhone Crash Detection Can Sometimes Make Unnecessary 911 Calls

Duluth, Minn. — Local law enforcement call centers are voicing concerns about a feature that is on the iPhone 14 as well as on Apple Watches.  It’s a crash detection system and the phone is reporting crashes that have not happened.

The iPhone 14 has a new feature that on face value, is a great comfort to have on your phone. It’s a crash detections system that will notify 911`if it believes you have been involved in a crash. But, the feature can be set off at other times when there is no crash, in some cases the crash report has come about because of a rough ride on your snowmobile.

St. Louis County Supervising Deputy Brandon Silgjord says, “When we get a false crash notification, especially one on a snowmobile trail. The snowmobile one was a big one for us because we were going to send our rescue squad were going to send multiple EMT agencies and deputies out to try to get to these remote locations to locate the victim. Any crash takes up a number of law enforcement and ems resources but in particular snowmobile crashes take up quite a bit.”

Silgjord says there have been a few of these false crash reports in St. Louis County. The sheriff’s office in Bayfield County in Wisconsin was one of the first to let people know about the issue.  They reported it on its Facebook page and have received a lot of attention.

“We don’t want to tell people to turn the app off on their phone or turn off the capability of the crash detection on their iPhone because it does save lives,” Silgjord said. “We actually have an example last week where we got an iPhone crash detection that was an actual crash that needed medical assistance up in our Iron Range District.”

It’s  not just the iPhone 14, it’s also the Apple Watch and an app that many families have known as Life 360 that can make crash reports. He has a recommendation on what action you can take to help limit the number of false crash calls.

“We just ask that you are cognizant of it and you’re aware of the capability in I if you go off a snowmobile jump or something that might trigger a crash event look at it. Check your device and see if it called 911. If it has, try to connect with a 911 operator and let them know it’s not an emergency. If you notice there was a previous call, call back in to the center, call 911, get a hold of the center and let us know,” Silgjord said.

As technology keeps advancing, 911 centers across the country are beginning to contact the technology companies. They want to work with the companies to find ways to improve their systems to make them better for everyone.

Categories: Minnesota, News, News – Latest News