A New York Post report over the weekend says New York’s Greene County and Pennsylvania’s Carbon County have experienced a large increase in false 911 calls from local ski resorts due to Crash Detection. Apple’s Crash Detection service allows the most recent iPhone and Apple Watch models to detect a severe automobile crash and automatically notify emergency services if the user fails to respond.
Unfortunately, the feature is mistakenly activating and reporting when some skiers and snowboarders take a spill. Skiers are accidentally triggering the Crash Detection feature built into the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro causing the devices to dial emergency services.
These spurious calls are putting a strain on call centers, possibly diverting needed personnel and resources away from where they’re really needed.
There have been several reports about the issue in other popular ski resort areas like Colorado, Minnesota, Utah, and British Columbia, Canada.
“You don’t want to assume that nothing’s happening and everyone’s okay wherever the activation came from, so it’s something that we have to go check,” said Shawn Datesman, the 911 Operations Director of Monroe County, Pennsylvania – which is home to Camelback and Shawnee ski resorts.
An Apple spokesperson told The Post that the company is in touch with 911 call centers that are currently experiencing a spike in automated 911 calls due to the crash detection feature, and getting their feedback.
However, the spokesperson refused to respond to how the feature might be updated in the future to prevent Apple devices from making 911 calls when there hasn’t been a car crash.
Crash Detection is enabled by default on all iPhone 14 models and the latest Apple Watch models, including the Series 8, Ultra, and second-generation SE.