iPhone’s Emergency SOS Feature Led to Over 700 Accidental Calls to 911, Says County Sheriff

It very common for iPhone users to accidentally call 911. The Emergency SOS feature is triggered accidentally whenever people are doing some activities. A north Wisconsin sheriff says they received more than 700 911 calls from iPhones in just one year. The calls were made without the knowledge of the owners.

The Emergency SOS feature is likely to be triggered when people ride their ATVs or do physical activity. Yet another Sheriff claims that they received more than 159 identical 911 calls in June alone.

iPhone’s Emergency SOS feature gets triggered whenever the side button is pressed successively five times. This is the reason it gets activated when iPhone users are riding ATVs. Sometimes the Emergency SOS gets triggered in pockets of tight-fitting clothes. On the brighter side, the phone sounds like a very loud alarm with a countdown timer before calling 911. But, perhaps, the alarm sound gets drowned in places with a lot of noise.

The Sheriff’s Office says people riding in trucks, ATVs, and boats have accidentally hit their button five times, triggering the calls.

The 911 operators ask callers to stay online to confirm the caller is fine and it is just an accidental call. That said, the operators will spring into action if they get an alert twice from the same individual.

Our Take

The Emergency SOS feature ends up as a lifesaver in many cases. But, on the flip side, accidental calls are causing problems to the operators. It might sound like a minor issue, but it is not. Especially since every second is important for 911 operators and is more than often a question of life and death. It would be interesting to see if Apple could update the feature to decrease the instances of accidental calls.

[via Fox9]