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iPhone 14 Crash Detection alerts Australian police to a serious accident, saves lives

Published Jan 31st, 2023 8:24AM EST
iPhone 14 Pro on a throw
Image: Jonathan Geller, BGR

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Crash Detection is a safety feature Apple created for the iPhone 14 and newer Apple Watch models, allowing the devices to detect car accidents and automatically alert the authorities. The feature can save lives, and the most recent example comes from Australia, where an iPhone 14 model called the police for its owner after detecting a collision.

Police arrived at the scene eight minutes after a truck towing a horse float hit a tree stump. The accident happened at 1:45 AM, and all five passengers were unconscious when the police arrived.

According to ABC News Australia, a white Ford Ranger hit a tree stump Monday morning after drifting off of a highway north of Launceston.

The iPhone 14 Crash Detection feature called the police automatically upon detecting the collision. If a human doesn’t interact with the iPhone display after the algorithms trigger a 911 call, the phone will proceed with contacting emergency services. This is what must have happened in Australia.

Police found five occupants in the car, ranging from 14 to 20 years of age. All of them were taken to hospitals. One person experienced severe injuries and had to be flown to Melbourne. The four horses in the float died, two following the collision and two via euthanasia after the crash.

iPhone 14 crash detection feature in action. iOS 16.1.2
iPhone 14 crash detection feature in action. Image source: Apple

Police responded very quickly because they were in the area on a different matter at the time of the crash. However, the police highlighted the iPhone 14’s Crash Detection feature.

“In a case where people had lost consciousness in a crash like this, it is certainly something that alerts police quickly,” Tasmania Police Inspector Ruth Orr told ABC News.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation, although police believe that fatigue might have been involved.

Crash Detection has recently been at the center of plenty of false alerts, generally associated with skiers. Skiing involves high speeds, sudden stops, and even crashes. This behavior can convince the iPhone 14’s algorithms that the phone’s owner is involved in an accident. A prompt to call 911 would appear on the screen, but the skier often doesn’t hear the warning and therefore fails to stop it.

While it might be a good idea to turn off Crash Detection on all iPhone 14 models while skiing, the accident in Australia proves once again that the feature saves lives. You should ensure you have it turned on when driving and when you’re a passenger in a car.

Crash Detection is enabled by default on all iPhone 14 models. You’ll find it in the Settings app, within the Emergency SOS menu.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.