Skip to main content

iPhone 14 safety features alert rescuers after canyon plunge

The iPhone 14’s Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via satellite are features you really hope you’ll never have to use. But if you do, you’ll be mighty thankful for them.

Such was the case for a young couple in California earlier this week when their vehicle left the road and plummeted 300 feet into a canyon on the Angeles Forest Highway in Angeles National Forest, about 20 miles northeast of Central Los Angeles.

The Montrose Search & Rescue Team said the call for help came via both Crash Detection and Emergency SOS on a phone belonging to one of the vehicle’s occupants.

A helicopter was dispatched to rescue the male and female before flying them to the hospital where they were treated for “mild to moderate” injuries.

Montrose Search & Rescue posted footage of the rescue on Twitter.

Deputies, Fire Notified of Vehicle Over the Side Via iPhone Emergency Satellite Service

This afternoon at approximately 1:55 PM, @CVLASD received a call from the Apple emergency satellite service. The informant and another victim had been involved in a single vehicle accident pic.twitter.com/tFWGMU5h3V

— Montrose Search & Rescue Team (Ca.) (@MontroseSAR) December 14, 2022

The two features launched with Apple’s iPhone 14 in the fall, and also work with recent versions of the Apple Watch.

Crash Detection automatically alerts first responders and your emergency contacts if the system detects that you’ve been in a traffic accident. It works using the phone’s dual-core accelerometer, which can sense a sudden change in speed that suggests an accident has occurred. Emergency SOS, on the other hand, lets you utilize satellites to send out alerts from a location that has no Wi-Fi or cellphone service, as was the case here. Interestingly, this was a neat example of the two features working together, as Crash Detection used Emergency SOS to send out the alert.

At the current time, Emergency SOS is available in North America, the U.K., Ireland, France, and Germany. It’s free for two years, though Apple has yet to reveal the cost after that time. Crash Detection works on all iPhone 14 devices.

It’s been a few months since the features launched with the iPhone 14, so this isn’t the first story about how they’ve been helping out in extreme situations. In October, for example, Crash Detection automatically called first responders following a car accident in Indianapolis.

But the system appears to have some quirks, as recent reports suggested Crash Detection was sending out 911 calls from roller coaster rides, some of which can stop abruptly. An Apple spokesperson said at the time that the Crash Detection feature is “extremely accurate in detecting severe crashes” and would improve over time.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
5 reasons why you shouldn’t buy the iPhone 15 Pro
iPhone 15 Pro in Natural Titanium held in hand in rose garden archway.

Apple’s iPhone 15 series came out last September, including the base model iPhone 15, the larger iPhone 15 Plus, the higher-end iPhone 15 Pro, and the top-of-the-line iPhone 15 Pro Max. These are Apple's latest offerings, at least until the iPhone 16 comes out later this year.

I got my iPhone 15 Pro on launch day, and it’s been my daily driver ever since. I picked a Pro model over the standard one because I like having the triple-lens camera system and the new Action Button. But I only went with the smaller iPhone 15 Pro instead of the Pro Max because I prefer more compact phones.

Read more
I used an iPad as my main camera, and what happened amazed me
A person holding the iPad Air (2024) and taking a photo.

I’ve spent the last few days using the iPad Air (2024) as my primary camera, and what started out as a bit of a joke became more serious as I went along. How so? Because I compared the results with the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The thing is, to my eyes, the iPad sometimes took better photos than the iPhone.

Confusing thoughts and emotions rushed through my head. Was I about to carry an iPad around all the time? Was there something wrong with my iPhone? Had I been mistaken all the times when I have used the iPhone to take a special photo and been pleased with the results? The iPad, a tablet with a single camera, shouldn’t be outperforming the flagship iPhone’s camera at any time. Yet, this was what I began to think was happening.
Where it all started

Read more
Here’s how iOS 18 is going to overhaul your iPhone’s email app
An iPhone showing the home screen in someone's hand.

We're just days away from Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2024), which means we're about to get our first look at iOS 18. The new iPhone operating system is expected to get RCS texting in the iMessage app, more customization options for the home screen, and maybe a significant design change overall. Now comes word that changes will be made to the native Mail app.

According to AppleInsider, the Mail app is about to undergo a significant transformation. It's getting a powerful new search tool, Smart Replies, automatic sorting for different email types, and more. But the real excitement lies in the app's expected integration of AI functionality, a feature becoming a hallmark of iOS 18.

Read more