iPhone mistakenly calls 911 on some roller coasters

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(NewsNation) — The latest iPhone devices include updated sensors that can detect sudden changes in motion to automatically contact emergency services if it believes the user was involved in a car crash. The technology can be lifesaving, but it’s not perfect. For example, it can trigger false alarms from roller coasters.

Last week, an iPhone 14 altered authorities to a crash in Nebraska. With no witnesses to the deadly crash, it proved to be valuable by immediately calling for help.

But to the phone, the rapid speed and deceleration of a car crash is no different then the jolting, velocity and sudden stopping of one of America’s favorite thrill seeking activities: roller coasters.

Last month in Ohio, law enforcement was called to the Kings Island amusement park six times for accidents that didn’t exist.

The roller coaster, Mystic Timbers, sends riders flying 53 miles per hour. It boasts 109 feet in height.

However, after the two minute ride is done, you could be greeted by some confused police.

Once the warning signs of a crash are detected, the iPhone will display an alert for 10 seconds before starting a 10 second countdown and alarm sound.

If the user doesn’t shut off the alarm, the phone will automatically dial 911. A robotic call to operators says “the owner of this iPhone was in a severe car crash and is not responding to their phone” before providing the location. And if you have an emergency contact, it will send them a text. 

NewsNation reached out to Apple and hasn’t heard back yet. If you want to ride a roller coaster without the added adrenaline of law enforcement showing up to make sure you are OK, you can put your phone on airplane mode, or turn it off before the ride.

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