PSA: If your iPhone calls emergency services (911), don’t hang up

man performing snowboard stunts

There are several ways in which your iPhone or Apple Watch can call emergency services automatically. In particular, if you have Apple Watch fall detection enabled or an iPhone 14 or Apple Watch Series 9 and are involved in what your device believes is a serious car crash, crash detection gets triggered. These are great features because they save lives. However, false positives have become a nuisance for emergency responders, particularly near amusement parks and ski slopes, where sudden changes in speed are to be expected.

What if your device accidentally calls emergency services? Apple recommends not hanging up once the call begins. You should tell the responder that the call was made in error and that you do not need help. Otherwise, they may spend valuable resources trying to locate you.

If you are into sports such as skiing or snowboarding, you may also consider disabling crash detection while on the slopes. Just remember to turn it back on before you drive away. To disable it on iPhone go to the Settings app > Emergency SOS. Disable “Call After Severe Crash”. On Apple Watch you can find it in the same place, but in the Watch app on your iPhone.