Apple’s ‘Crash Detection’ feature built into the iPhone 14 is reported to have helped Tasmanian authorities locate a severe car accident. In response to an accident involving a pickup truck towing a horse box, authorities were able to locate five people involved and have them taken to a hospital for treatment.
Off the coast of Australia, on the island state of Tasmania, a pickup truck occupied by five people was involved in a car crash. At around 1:45 am, the vehicle in question hit a tree stump on the Batman Highway at Rowella. Of the five occupants, one or more were left unconscious while each of them was injured in various ways. The horse box that was being towed had been housing four horses. Unfortunately, due to the box rolling over during the crash, none survived.
Tasmanian authorities were able to respond to the crash quickly and effectively thanks in part to Apple’s Crash Detection feature. According to an ABC News report, police were “automatically notified via a crash detection feature on one of the passengers’ iPhones.” Police arrived on the scene within eight minutes.
Tasmania Police Inspector Ruth Orr later followed up, stating that police were already “in the area on an unrelated matter.” However, the built-in iPhone 14 feature can undoubtedly help save lives. “In a case where people had lost consciousness in a crash like this, it’s certainly something that alerts police quickly.”
Upon the launch of the iPhone 14, Apple introduced two potentially life-saving features. On top of Crash Detection, which alerts authorities when triggered, Emergency SOS via Satellite was also presented. In the event a user is outside of cellular coverage, they can make emergency calls to get help.
However, while both features have helped users worldwide in life-threatening situations, they aren’t foolproof. It’s been shown that Crash Detection has been accidentally triggered simply by riding rollercoasters or even while skiing and snowboarding. A false alert also led to an extended helicopter search in B.C.
These false alerts have become a nuisance for Apple and local emergency services. The Cupertino company has had to issue “Crash Detection optimizations” via iOS 16.1.2. Crash Detection is turned on by default on iPhone 14 and is also supported across the Apple Watch Ultra, Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE (2022). Alerts can be turned off via the Settings menu and Emergency SOS tab. Users can then opt to turn off Call After Severe Crash.