Apple’s Fall Detection feature on the Apple Watch Series 4 is meant to help you out after a hard fall – but a new report suggests that it could save a life (or at least call 911) during other types of accidents as well.
A couple weeks back, Dotty White, 87, was on her way home from the grocery store in Kennebunk, Maine when she was involved in a car accident.
“It was a nice day, I’m on my way home with lots of nice groceries and bang,” White said. “Apparently a woman came out of a road here and ran straight into me.”
White was shaken and confused after the crash and wondering how she would let her loved ones know she was in an accident, according to Maine News Center. But immediately following the crash, something interesting happened.
“My watch told me ‘we have you falling on route one in Kennebunk … help is on the way,’” White said.
Basically, White’s Apple Watch Series 4 had registered the car accident as a “hard fall.” It then immediately notified her family and first responders without her needing to do anything.
White suffered a few broken bones during the crash, but is now reportedly back home and resting — and reflecting on how her Apple Watch gives her a bit more peace of mind.
“It’s pretty nice just to have it on your wrist,” she said. “You have the time, the weather and help.”
Car Crash Detection?
Fall Detection, which first debuted on the Apple Watch Series 4, is meant to automatically call first responders in the event of a hard fall or trip and send them a user’s current location. It’s on by default for users 65 and older, but can be manually enabled by anyone.
But the fact that the feature was able to detect a car crash and notify emergency services is interesting — especially because that isn’t what it’s meant for.
Still, having a wearable device that can call the authorities (and your family) with your current location, even if you’re unconscious, is obviously a huge win for public safety.
To be clear, because this isn’t Fall Detection’s intended usage, you shouldn’t be counting on it to get you out of a pinch after a car accident.
But Apple could always add car accident detection to the Apple Watch down the road. And if you’re wearing an Apple Watch Series 4 with cellular support, you’ll still be able to call emergency services pretty easily.
This isn’t the first time that an Apple Watch has helped out someone immediately following a car accident. It also isn’t the first time fall detection has helped save someone.
But it does seem to the first report indicating that fall detection may come in handy after a car crash. And hopefully, Apple takes notice and considers that as a full-fledged feature in a future watchOS update.