Don't hang up on emergency services if your iPhone automatically calls them

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Apple Crash Detection documentation
Apple's iPhone 14 series, as well as the Watch Series 8, SE 2nd Gen, and the Apple Watch Ultra were all announced in September 2023 with a Crash Detection feature that uses the on-board accelerometer to detect when the user has stopped suddenly, and attempts to contact emergency services promptly.

However, the real-life utility of this theoretically life-saving features hasn't been a hundred percent spot on; numerous cases of extreme real-life activities and sports have proven to accidentally trigger the Crash Detection feature and attempt an emergency call, sometimes with the user oblivious of the event. Roller coaster rides, slalom skiing, and other such activities have all caused Crash Detection false positives in the past. And, as one might imagine, this has been a very serious issue for emergency services.

Aware of that, Apple has updated the accompanying support documentation for the Crash Detection feature. As spotted by MacRumors, the paper now advises users to not hang up if they become aware that their iPhone or cellular-enabled Apple Watch have made an emergency call.

"If the call has been made, but you don’t need emergency services, don’t hang up. Wait until a responder answers, then explain that you don’t need help," Apple advises, and this makes perfect sense.

It's certainly better to assure the emergency responder that you're indeed fine and have merely fallen victim to a digital faux pas, enabled by Apple's erring on the side of caution. In any case, immediately hanging up without saying a word could waste emergency services' time by conducting a follow-up 'investigation'.

Put as simple as possible, respect emergency responders' time and promptly let them know you're okay.

When an Apple device detects a severe acceleration or deceleration, it shows a slider on the screen and prompts you to call emergency services. If you don't interact within 10 seconds, the devices attempts to attract your attention by sounding an alarm and vibrating. If 10 seconds pass and you still don't respond, the device will then automatically make a call.

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