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As much as 20% of wireless 911 calls come from ‘butt-dials’

Posted: , by Charlene S.

As much as 20% of wireless 911 calls come from ‘butt-dials’
We’ve all received a butt-dial at some point in time or another. Usually after a few seconds of static and unanswered questions, you hang up and continue on with your day. Unfortunately for 911 centers, when they receive that type of call, they have to investigate the call in order to determine if someone is actually in distress.

CBS Chicago visited a call center in Evanston, Illinois to find out how prevalent this problem is. What they found out was, as much as 1 in 5 calls turn out to be unintentional or abandoned calls; most of which are believed to be butt-dials.

When this happens, operators must attempt to return the call, and in some cases, even dispatch police to attempt to find the caller. Evanston 911 Coordinator Perry Polinski said, “The chances of that happening are slim, but we’ve – a couple times probably, over the past few years – have had to basically launch a search party to locate somebody.

The best way to correct this is to use a cover or be sure to lock your homescreen before putting your phone in your pocket or purse. If you do unintentionally dial 911, the best thing to do is to stay on the line and inform the operator that it was a mistake.

source: CBS Chicago via Gizmodo

8 Comments
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posted on 02 Dec 2011, 11:18 2

1. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)


lmao.

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 11:27 8

2. corporateJP (Posts: 1765; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


I think that number is a bit inflated.

Plus...Kim Kardashian's ass made half of those calls.

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 12:03 1

4. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


thats harsh lol but hilarious

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 11:45 1

3. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


My dad always used to butt dial people with his OG Droid. I never understood how...

If you think about it, the lock button would have to be pressed, then somehow the unlock gesture would have to be made (within the window of time allowed before the screen times out) THEN the phone icon hit THEN a number dialed.

Turns out, when his phone was positioned so that the screen was against his leg the touch screen would be triggered by his leg if his pockets were made from thin enough material...

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 13:36

7. Knicknevin (Posts: 138; Member since: 18 Mar 2011)


Negative on that.

Many Android phones (do not know about IOS) have a button on the lock screen that says "Emergency Call" so that 911 can be reached by anyone who picks up the phone.

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 16:32 2

8. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


Not sure what that has to do with my post... But thaaaanks anyways!

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 12:04 1

5. codymws (Posts: 237; Member since: 17 Jun 2010)


I don't understand how people get a phone to dial numbers with their butt... it seems like they'd have to be trying. I've never butt dialed anyone before, but I've received alot of butt dials from one person in specific...

posted on 02 Dec 2011, 12:23

6. networkdood (Posts: 6311; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Remember those T-Mo commercials?

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