Apple Watch fall detection helps 87-year-old woman after car accident


fall detection
Fall detection was introduced with the Apple Watch Series 4.
Screenshot: Apple

The Apple Watch Series 4’s fall detection feature has been credited with potentially helping save an 87-year-old woman’s life after a car accident.

Maine octogenarian Dotty White was on her way back from grocery shopping when she was involved in a collision. Fortunately, her trusty Apple wearable was on hand (literally) to help.

Following the accident, White said she was unable to reach her iPhone to call for help. However, her Apple Watch identified the crash as a fall and called first responders, as well as White’s family.

“The watch dialed my son in Florida, it dialed my daughter in Massachusetts and my daughter in Maine,” she told News Center Maine. “So they knew something had happened and they knew where it happened.”

According to the report:

“Her son, James White, says he was notified instantly through a text message. He immediately called his sister, who — after receiving the message herself — rushed to her mother’s side. ‘It was really helpful to get that message,’ James White said. ‘I knew mom was all set at that point.'”

The crash caused some broken bones for Dotty White. But she said she was grateful to be wearing her Apple Watch at the time. “It’s pretty nice to just have it on your wrist,” she said.

A life-saving device

Here in 2019, we’re no stranger to stories of the Apple Watch saving lives. However, many of these stories focus on the device’s heart-reading ECG tech, rather than its equally impressive fall detection.

Nonetheless, as White’s story shows, this feature of the Apple Watch Series 4 can not be underrated.

At present, fall detection is disabled by default unless you’re over 65. Check out our guide on how to enable it here.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.