911 call made using new iPhone Crash Detection feature in fatal crash at intersection of Eastwood and Military Cutoff

The 911 calls from a fatal car crash at the intersection of Eastwood Rd. and Military Cutoff Rd. were released Wednesday.
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 10:50 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The 911 calls from a fatal car crash at the intersection of Eastwood Rd. and Military Cutoff Rd. were released Wednesday.

While a person passing by stopped to make one call, another call came from a new automated feature on the newest iPhone.

Here’s how it works: your iPhone 14 or newer Apple Watch will detect that you are in a crash. You then have 10 seconds to respond to the notification on your screen to call 911 or cancel the alert. If you don’t select an option, 911 is automatically called.

“Anytime you have some technology like this that can reduce the amount of time from some an emergency occurring to the notification of the proper resources to respond is I think that’s an amazing thing. And it’s one of the great things about technology.”

First responders like Wilmington Fire Department’s Chief, Steve Mason, said this new feature could be lifesaving, especially in an incident that happens in a rural area or at a time when there aren’t many other people on the roads.

“There’s a lot less potential for someone to see it and call it in. But usually significant events that happen, you know, during normal hours, we get multiple phone calls on. But again, that kind of lends itself to be a benefit of the technology. If you are somewhere, you live out in the country, somewhere like me, and you’re on a dark road and your daughter spins out, ends up in a ditch somewhere and maybe she’s unconscious, it’d be nice to know that, you know, that phone would call 911. Because unless somebody rides by, you might not even know she’s there,” Mason said. “I mean, you know, minutes or seconds are gold, you know, in terms of the survivability of a crash or a heart attack or any of those kinds of things traumatic injury. So yeah, that’s, I think it’s a great technology that will certainly save some lives.”

A spokesperson for Apple shared this statement with WECT about the new crash detection feature:

The entire iPhone 14 lineup introduces groundbreaking safety capabilities that can provide emergency assistance when it matters most. With a new dual-core accelerometer capable of detecting G-force measurements of up to 256Gs and a new high dynamic range gyroscope, Crash Detection on iPhone can now detect a severe car crash and automatically dial emergency services when a user is unconscious or unable to reach their iPhone. These capabilities build on existing components, like the barometer, which can now detect cabin pressure changes, the GPS for additional input for speed changes, and the microphone, 5 which can recognize loud noises typified by severe car crashes. Advanced Apple-designed motion algorithms trained with over a million hours of real-world driving and crash record data provide even better accuracy. When combined with Apple Watch, Crash Detection seamlessly leverages the unique strength of both devices to get users help efficiently. When a severe crash is detected, the emergency services call interface will appear on Apple Watch, as it is most likely to be in closer proximity to the user, while the call is placed through iPhone if it is in range for the best possible connection.”

Here is a video on how the crash detection feature works.

Click here for more information.