Cops rush to roller coaster after woman's iPhone 14 reports 'severe car crash' that never happened

Cops rush to roller coaster after woman's iPhone 14 reports 'severe car crash' that never happened
A new safety feature in Apple's iPhone 14 Pro is designed to help users who have been involved in a car accident, but it has also led to numerous false reports (Apple and visitkingsisland.com)

CINCINNATI, OHIO: In Ohio, last month, a woman's brand-new iPhone 14 Pro alerted police that she had been in a serious car crash and was not responding, when in fact, she was simply riding a rollercoaster. The Mystic Timbers ride was one of the attractions that 39-year-old Sara White, along with her family, decided to brave last month while visiting Kings Island, a theme park outside of Cincinnati. 

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the dentist kept her two-day-old phone in her fanny pack while she was lifted 109 feet into the air and spun around at 50 mph. However, she was unaware that her iPhone's new car-crash detection feature had detected the abrupt acceleration and braking and had assumed she had been in a serious collision at the time. 

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'The owner of this iPhone was in a severe crash and is not responding to their phone.' it said in an automated message sent to dispatchers at the Warren County Communications Center as 39-year-old White's iPhone 14 Pro dialed 911. 

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Throughout the nearly two-minute call, that message was repeated seven times, picking up some background music and background screaming. When White got off the ride, she discovered that her lock screen had become cluttered with missed calls and voicemails from an emergency dispatcher asking if she was OK. Officers were called to the roller coaster after she failed to respond once more, but they were unable to find an emergency. Eventually, White realized what had happened while ironically waiting in line for bumper cars, and she called the police again to let them know she was alright.

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Daily Mail reported that since the new iPhone 14 models went on sale in September, the Warren County Communications Center has received six false iPhone crash detection calls from the Kings Island amusement park. The Joker roller coaster at Six Flags Great America near Chicago has also sparked similar alerts, depleting the resources of neighborhood police departments. Emergency services director for Warren County Melissa Bour stated, "We are very vigilant about calls. No call doesn't get checked," He said, "You get used to calls that are not an emergency, but it's wear and tear on the dispatchers."

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The new iPhone 14s has a sensor with a high-G accelerometer that can identify various types of car accidents, including "side-impact, rear-end collisions, and rollovers," when the user has been involved. It searches for crash indicators, such as a sudden stop or a sharp deceleration. The phone will first display a warning for 10 seconds before beginning a 10-second countdown and an alarm sound if it detects a crash. If a user doesn't silence the alarm within those ten seconds, the phone will dial 911 and relay a message along with their location information.

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Daily Mail report says that iPhone users have been complaining lately about the new technology. On September 17, Douglas Sonders claimed his iPhone 14 Pro flew off the handlebars of his motorcycle as he was riding along the West Side Highway in New York City. He along with his friends decided to buy a new phone as he believed he lost it forever.

Sonders was unaware that his iPhone's crash detection had been activated at the time, alerting emergency services and sending his mother and girlfriend automatic texts. His girlfriend, Gabrielle Kennedy stated, "I was freaking out. I was thinking the worst." She added, "My best friend passed away in a car accident. It brought me right back there." His worried mother sent a voicemail saying, "Douglas, have someone call me back as soon as possible! Please let me know if you are OK."

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Representational Image/Michael Reichel/picture alliance via Getty Images, Apple)
'The owner of this iPhone was in a severe car crash and is not responding to their phone' is the alert iPhone 14 has been sending to emergency services even thought some of them are false alarms (Michael Reichel/picture alliance via Getty Images, Apple)

Though there were complaints, the new feature actually helpful. In a news report by MEAWW, The newly launched iPhone 14's crash detection feature informed Nebraska cops about a tragic car crash on Sunday, October 2. The crash was described as "the worst crash in Lincoln in recent memory," which left six people dead. As per the authorities, the black Honda accord crashed into a tree at around 2.15 am.

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