Why iPhone 14 and skiing don’t mix

    • The iPhone 14 has an accident detection feature that automatically calls emergency services
    • But in the United States, this novelty sends too many false alarms from ski resorts
    • However, the user can deactivate it before skiing, snowboarding, etc.

Despite the release of an update, one of the novelties of the iPhone 14 continues to be singled out. This functionality is the detection of accidents or “Crash Detection” in English which would send too many false alerts from the ski resorts. As a reminder, this novelty was designed by Apple to detect “serious” car accidents using sensors inside the iPhone 14. The feature is also available on the latest Apple Watch.

In case of detection, and if the user does not react, an emergency call is launched automatically. Apple has already saved lives thanks to the function. But unfortunately, it also makes too many false positives, automatically calling the emergency services even though the user hasn’t had an accident.

iPhone 14 has too many false positives

And obviously, these false positives are very common in ski resorts in the United States. The problem was recently touched on by an article in the New York Times, which cited testimonies from people working for emergency services near ski resorts. “My whole day is spent dealing with crash notifications,” says one of the NYT interviewees. In his service (Summit County, Ohio), we received 185 false alarms between January 13 and January 22.

When an iPhone detects an accident, it displays an alert and plays a sound. And normally, the user can indicate that they are well, so that their iPhone does not automatically call the emergency room. But with a helmet and heavy clothing, skiers may not hear these alerts. The problem is that these bogus calls cannot be ignored. And this affects the management of real emergencies.

Quoted by the NYT, an Apple representative reacted: “We have been aware that in some specific scenarios, these features have triggered emergency services when a user has not suffered a severe car accident or a sudden fall.” He also recalled that an update aimed at reducing these false positives has already been published, and that despite these false positives, the function has also saved lives.

It is possible to deactivate

In any case, in some counties, people are asked to disable this feature iPhone before skiing or snowboarding. And if the problem does not seem to have the same magnitude in French ski resorts, the false positives would be also common in Japan, according to an article published by The Japan News. Otherwise, false alerts have also been reported in amusement parks, in 2022.

To deactivate accident detection on the iPhone 14 series, go to Settings, touch Emergency call, and deactivate the “Call after a serious accident” option. According to the explanations of Apple’s help page, when a serious accident is detected, and this feature is active, the iPhone rings and displays an alert. You can either cancel or make an emergency call. But “If you are unable to answer, your device will automatically call emergency services after 20 seconds.”

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