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iPhone 14 Emergency SOS Facilitates Car Cliff Crash Rescue

Search and rescue say they were able to save a man in LA thanks to the iPhone's crash detection and SOS features.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently oversees the CNET breaking news desk for the West Coast. Corinne covers everything from phones, social media and security to movies, politics, 5G and pop culture. In her spare time, she watches soccer games, F1 races and Disney movies.
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Corinne Reichert
2 min read
An iPhone 14 showing a text conversation with emergency dispatchers
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An iPhone 14 has helped save someone's life again, thanks to Apple's Emergency SOS via satellite feature and crash detection technology.

A man who drove off a cliff in Los Angeles and landed 400 feet below was reached by search and rescue on Friday after his iPhone sent automatic SOS alerts, Apple said. 

"At 10:51pm on Fri we were alerted to a car 400' over a cliff by the driver's iPhone 14 crash detection. Location was Mt Wilson Rd. After locating him we guided in an @LACoFireAirOps copter. Suffered head trauma," Mike Leum, search and rescue first responder, tweeted over the weekend with footage of the rescue.

Leum said the driver would have died if his iPhone 14 hadn't sent alerts to emergency services.

The Emergency SOS via satellite feature arrived for the iPhone 14 in November last year and allows you to contact emergency services and share your location even when you're out of cell service range. The service is free for iPhone 14 users for the next two years.

Crash detection is available on the iPhone 14 and the Apple Watch 8, and uses the axis gyroscope and high G-force accelerometer, as well as your GPS and microphone, to detect an impact (though it has reportedly mistaken roller coaster rides for car accidents). It then automatically connects you with emergency services, passing along your location info, as well as notifying your emergency contacts.

It's not the first time the iPhone 14 has been used to help rescue someone -- Emergency SOS helped locate a stranded man in Alaska and alerted first responders to a highway crash in California in December.

Here's how to use the iPhone 14's Emergency SOS via satellite to contact 911 if the worst should happen.