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Apple’s New Crash Detection Could Save Lives, but Not Without Some Hiccups

Apple’s New Crash Detection Could Save Lives, but Not Without Some HiccupsThe latest iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max models were released this September. With them came some amazing new features, like an even better quality camera, always-on display, and all-day battery life. But the most revolutionary new feature is the built-in crash detection.

Apple’s crash detection is named appropriately because it will identify when a suspected car accident has occurred and prompt the user to make an emergency call to the police. If the user does not respond within 20 seconds, the iPhone will automatically call the authorities to report an accident and provide an approximate location. To make it even better, this service uses satellite rather than relying on wifi or cellular service. So if a crash does occur and there is no service in the area, the iPhone will still be able to automatically make the call.

Another perk is that Apple’s crash detection also alerts anyone listed as an emergency contact. If the user does not respond within their 20-second timeframe, then their iPhone will automatically text everyone in their contact list who is labeled as an emergency contact. This feature is a great way to let friends and family members know that an accident has happened yet emergency services have been called and help is on the way.

Benefits of crash detection software in smartphones

We know that Apple’s software is already working. In the beginning of October, authorities in Nebraska were called to respond to the scene of a potential accident just after 2am. They were said to have received a call from an iPhone recording mentioning that there may have been an accident and the iPhone user was not responding to their phone. The police rushed to the scene where they discovered a Honda Accord crashed into a tree and five people dead at the scene with one more succumbing to her injuries later at the hospital.

While this is a tragic, yet effective, example of how this service works, one could imagine how it could save lives in other scenarios:

If a person is pinned inside the car

If a driver gets into an accident and their body gets pinned between the seat and steering wheel, they will likely have very limited mobility. If their phone went flying to another area of the car, physically getting to it in order to call for help is probably not possible.

If a person has been ejected from the vehicle

When a car crashes into another vehicle or hits a bump at such a high rate of speed, the driver and passengers can be ejected from the car. If they were not wearing seatbelts, this probability is significantly higher. Once ejected, the likelihood of surviving the accident drastically drops. After facing such a forceful impact, it is unlikely that anyone traveling in the car would be able to call for help, so having the phone do that automatically could be life-saving.

If a person is unconscious

If an accident happens and it leaves the driver unconscious, they clearly would not be able to call for an ambulance themselves. Unless an innocent bystander saw or heard it happen, someone involved in a single-car crash would not have anyone else to rely on to call for help, either. If the driver needs to wait to regain consciousness to call, they could be losing dire minutes or hours which could be used to treat their injuries.

If a person is in a remote area

After a crash happens, the first thing everyone does is immediately call 911. However, if the crash occurs in an area where there is no cell service, this could be problematic. Sure, accident victims are still able to place the call to emergency services, but dispatchers will not be able to pinpoint their exact location unless the caller knows where they are. This new feature on the iPhone will automatically provide dispatchers with the user’s longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates in order to create an approximate search radius, which allows police and ambulances to get to the scene as quickly as possible.

If a person is dead at the scene

This one may not be about saving lives per se, but if a driver is dead at the scene, like in the real-life example above, their phone will be able to automatically call emergency services and get help to start rescue services as soon as possible. If they get there quickly enough, there is even hope that the victim can be resuscitated. Since the iPhone calls for help within seconds, everyone involved will have a greater chance of actually recovering from their injuries if treated immediately.

These features come at a cost

And no, it is not the price. This service comes standard with the new iPhone, so it does not cost anything to have. Just like any technology, the idea is great and it definitely works a good bit of the time, but there are flaws in the system.

A story was recently published detailing a New York City man’s unfortunate encounter with crash detection. His new iPhone 14 Pro Max fell off his motorcycle mount as he was riding at about 60 mph on the highway. Clearly disgruntled yet not thinking anything of it, he kept riding and went to the store to purchase a cheaper phone while he waited on a replacement. Shortly after, he found out from a friend that his iPhone called emergency services and contacted multiple people in his contact list to tell them that he may have been in an accident and was not responding to his phone. This sent his wife into a panic and had her driving to his location from hours away while calling every hospital in the area looking for him.

The service is great and proves to work well given the right scenario, but accidents do happen that can seem much more serious to the iPhone than they are in real life. It is important for new iPhone users to be aware that Apple’s crash detection comes with this service turned on and needs to be manually turned off in order to stop it. Leaving it on definitely certainly looks to have more pros than cons, though. At the end of the day, it could give your family members an unnecessary scare if it was not a real accident, but it also could save your life if it were a real one.

Were you injured in a car accident in Chicago? You deserve experienced legal representation so you are not paying for treatment and other expenses yourself. Gainsberg Law, P.C., represents clients throughout Cook County. Call our office at 312-600-9585, or complete our contact form today. Our consultations are always free.