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Your New iPhone Might call 911 From Rollercoasters

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Your New iPhone Might call 911 From Rollercoasters
Credit: Dollywood

Even smart devices make mistakes.

New Features on Smart Phones

Credit: Friend of the Blog

Apple recently launched the iPhone 14, and with it came new features. One handy upgrade to the technology is the new Crash Detection feature. This feature is also available on the Watch Series 8, SE, and Ultra.

Crash Detection is set to alert authorities should it detect the user be in a car accident. This feature could be lifesaving for drivers who are severely injured and unable to make the call themselves.

Unintended Calls

Credit: Disney

However, there is a little hiccup. Authorities and iPhone users are reporting that the devices have been making emergency calls after rollercoasters set off the Crash Detection feature.

The way the feature works is if it detects conditions like those in a crash simulation, it springs into action and generates an alert. The user then has 20 seconds to dismiss the alert before the 911 call initiates. This is helpful in preventing false alarms or if someone has already called 911 to report the accident.

Credit: Disney (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

However, if the user is on a rollercoaster and the device perceives it to be a crash, the alert may go unnoticed within the twenty-second time frame. In turn, authorities may receive a call stating “the owner of this iPhone was in a severe car crash.”

Reported Incidents So Far

Credit: Kings Island

So far incidents of a smart device perceiving a rollercoaster to be an automobile accident have been reported in several theme parks. Kings Island in Cincinnati has reportedly had at least 6 emergency calls from rollercoasters since the feature’s rollout. Mystic Timbers is at least one of the coasters that a rider mentioned set off the alert. You can see what Mystic Timbers is like in the King’s Island video above.

The Joker in Six Flags Great America has also reportedly triggered the alert. This park is located outside Chicago.

Signage in Parks

Credit: Dollywood

Dollywood, America’s Favorite Theme Park, has also reportedly had some devices react to rollercoasters. As a result, signage has been added to at least two coasters, Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle, to let people know it could happen.

One such sign warns, “Due to the dynamic movement you will experience on this ride, Apple Watches and similar devices may activate their emergency call function.”

What to do if you own a device with the feature

Phone pic
Credit: Disney

If you own a device with the new safety feature and want to be sure it does not initiate an unnecessary 911 call while you are visiting a theme park, the solutions are relatively simple.

For one thing, you could leave the device in a locker or with another member of your travel party. However, if you prefer to keep your phone on you, simply power the device off before you ride. Alternatively, setting your device on airplane mode will do the trick as well.

So far we have not heard of any of the Disney coasters initiating calls. However, you may still want to follow the precautions if your device does have the feature.

Has a theme park ride triggered the Crash Detection on your iPhone or watch? Let us know in the comments or join the discussion on Facebook.

Are you planning a vacation? Reach out to our trusted travel agency sponsor Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Mouse Class Travel!

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