Apple has changed its stance on what people should do if their iPhone or Apple Watch calls emergency services when they aren’t needed.
The iPhone 14, Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch Ultra all support Crash Detection — a feature that can detect when someone has been in a car crash and then call for emergency services automatically. But it’s a feature that’s caused more than a few unrequited calls to go into call centers around the world and Apple has changed what it wants people to do if they find themselves initiating a call that they don’t need.
Don’t cancel the call, Apple says. Even if you’re perfectly fine.
Faux crashes detected
Ever since Crash Detection launched there have been reports of rollercoasters and skiing falls causing it to trigger, calling emergency services as a result. Apple previously told users to “tap Cancel and confirm that you don’t need emergency services” if they didn’t need help. But it’s now changed that wording.
“If the call has been made, but you don’t need emergency services, don’t hang up,” Apple says. “Wait until a responder answers, then explain that you don’t need help.”
It appears that Apple wants to ensure service responders are not left wondering if the call dropped by accident and whether someone is hurt. By canceling the call people were leaving things open-ended. By letting the call connect, they can explain that a false call was placed and that no assistance is required.
Apple has been tweaking its Crash Detection system to try and prevent false emergency calls, but some are sure to get through. The feature is only available on the best Apple Watches and iPhones to date, but as it trickles down to more handsets we can surely expect even more calls to be made to emergency services in error.