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Roller coasters set off iPhone 14 Crash Detection

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“This ride is so much fun it should make my iPhone call 911!”
Photo: Angie/Pexels

People are reportedly getting off roller coasters and discovering that their new iPhone 14 called 911 for them. Turns out the handsets mistook thrilling rides for a car wreck and thought their users needed emergency help. It’s an unintended result of Crash Detection, a feature added to Apple’s latest handsets.

Fortunately, there are a couple of options to use as a workaround until Apple has a better solution.

iPhone 14 Crash Detection has accidents

If you’re in a severe car accident, Crash Detection in your iPhone 14 can tell and it can contact emergency services if you’re unconscious.

That’s potentially life saving, except it’s apparently prone to overreacting. The Wall Street Journal‘s Joanna Stern reports that 911 dispatch near Kings Island amusement park has received half a dozen automated emergency calls from new iPhones.

Since the iPhone 14 went on sale, the 911 dispatch center near Kings Island amusement park has received at least six phones calls saying:

“The owner of this iPhone was in a severe car crash…”

Except, the owner was just on a roller coaster.

🆕 by me:

Crash Detection feeds data from the handset’s accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS and microphone into an algorithm of Apple’s own creation to determine if the iPhone 14’s user has been in a wreck. It seems the deliberately violent movements of a roller coaster, perhaps along with the screams of riders, trick the software into thinking something terrible is happening.

Pair of possible workarounds

If you’re headed for an a amusement park and plan to ride a coaster or two, you don’t have to worry about accidentally calling 911.

Coaster101 learned about a workaround from Dollywood. That theme park has signs up in front of its coasters that suggest riders turn off their cell phones or put them in airplane mode to prevent accidentally calling emergency services.

Another option is to turn off Crash Detection. Do this by going to Settings > Emergency SOS and toggling off Call After Severe Crash.If you do so while at an amusement park, set a reminder to turn it back on later. You’re disabling a safety feature of the iPhone 14.

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