Two cars in a fender bender

How Does Crash Detection Work?

Crash detection is a feature that monitors your location and movements while you’re driving in a vehicle. This information can help determine if you’ve been involved in a car accident and need emergency assistance. Of course, no one ever expects to be in a car crash, but the truth is that they happen more often than you might think. 

Life360 is one of the most accurate crash-detection apps available today. It uses advanced GPS and motion sensors to detect a crash, quickly notifying emergency services and providing your location details to help get you the help you need as soon as possible. This driving feature will also alert others in your Circle that you’ve been in an accident.

What Is Crash Detection?

With Life360 Crash Detection, you will receive an alert when you’ve been involved in an accident as a driver or passenger. In addition, Life360 notifies your Circle members and emergency contacts on your behalf if help is needed or if you do not respond. This feature uses advanced detection algorithms to distinguish between crashes and other types of motion, such as braking and/or acceleration.

Whether you’re using a smartphone app like Life360, an Apple Watch, or another connected device, it’s important to know how crash detection works and why it is so important. If you ever find yourself in a car wreck, knowing that your safety and well-being are being monitored can give you peace of mind and help ensure that you get the help you need as quickly as possible.

How to Use Crash Detection 

Life360 app with crash detection alert next to an aerial image of a car accident

Crash detection can be used with the Life360 app, iPhones, Androids, and smart watches. Each device has different ways of detecting crashes, so it is essential to understand how to use it.

Life360 Crash Detection 

  • Open Life360 app
  • Set Location Sharing to ‘Always’
  • Click the Safety icon at the bottom of the app
  • Tap Turn on Crash Detection
  • Read and agree to each of the service terms

Crash detection will ask if you’re okay when you’ve been in an accident. Your Circle members and emergency contacts will be notified if help is needed or if you do not respond. Premium plan subscribers can expect a trained agent to dispatch emergency responders.

Since Life360 launched our crash detection in 2016, we have continuously worked to improve the accuracy of the feature and integrate new learning to enhance the experience for our customers. These learnings have allowed us to detect and filter out false crash detection events from areas such as amusement parks and ski resorts to provide greater peace of mind for families

Crash Detection on iPhone and Apple Watch

  • Crash Detection is enabled by default
  • Your iPhone and Apple Watch will display an Emergency Slider 
  • Your iPhone will read out the alert
  • Your Apple Watch chimes, taps your wrist, and displays the emergency message on the screen
  • After a 20-second delay, your device automatically calls emergency services
  • Your Medical ID will be displayed (it must have been set up previously)
  • In any case, you can Dismiss the alert or Call emergency services

When you have both an Apple Watch and an iPhone, the Emergency Call slider will only appear on your watch, and when you press it, the call is connected, and the audio from the call plays from the watch.

Crash Detection on Google Pixel

  • On your Pixel phone, open the Safety app (from the app drawer or search).
  • At the top left corner, click the Settings icon.
  • Under Detection & Alerts, select Car Crash Detection.
  •  The toggle should be ​Enabled.

Google Pixel’s Crash Detection uses the phone’s sensors to detect when you’ve been in a crash. If help is needed, your contacts will be notified. 

How Does Crash Detection Work?

Life360 Emergency services dispatch notification

To detect significant collisions, Crash Detection uses patented technology. For example, whenever the vehicle moves over 25 mph, it uses sensors on your phone to detect a significant impact.

Life360 detects crashes by:

  • A vehicle must be moving at least 25 mph for at least 30 seconds before a collision occurs
  • Immediately following the crash, the vehicle must come to a complete stop
  • Battery life must be greater than 10%, and the phone must not be in power-saving mode
  • There must be a solid cellular signal on the phone 
  • Location permissions on the phone must be set to “Always” (not “While Using”).

Life360 requires location-sharing permission be set to ‘Always’ in the phone’s settings in order to be able to detect driving events. As a result, Crash Detection will not function if the setting is set to ‘While Using the App’.

What Type of Accidents Can Crash Detection Identify?

Crash detection technology can identify and respond to many types of accidents, including vehicle collisions, falls, and other severe impacts. Crash detection uses various sensors and accelerometers to measure the force of an impact. If this force exceeds a certain threshold, indicating that a crash has occurred, the device will alert emergency services or send a distress signal to a designated contact. 

Therefore, if you use Life360 or another crash detection app, it is vital to keep your device charged, stay aware of your surroundings, and make sure that the appropriate contacts are set up in case of an emergency.

How Accurate is Crash Detection? 

Illustrated image of two cars colliding

Crash detection is a vital tool for keeping drivers and passengers safe, and with the advancement of technology, it has become increasingly more accurate. 

Life360’s crash detection is one of the most advanced on the market, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and multiple sensors to detect when an accident has occurred. The sensors and AI work together to identify a crash event within milliseconds of the impact accurately.

Whether you are using an iPhone, a smart watch, or another type of device, ensure that your crash detection is up-to-date and reliable so that you can rest assured that you are protected in the event of an emergency. 

Life360 vs Apple Crash Detection

Life360 and Apple are both known for their crash detection features. How do they compare?

One of the key advantages of Life360 is that it can detect crashes or other emergency situations even before you’re aware that anything is happening. By monitoring your location and speed, Life360 can quickly determine when something goes wrong and send out an alert to your contacts right away. This gives you extra time to react and potentially prevent a serious incident, such as a car crash or health emergency.

Meanwhile, Apple’s built-in crash detection feature works by monitoring the battery and processing power of your device. When it detects that you’ve crashed or been in an accident, it will automatically send out an alert to your contacts with your location information. 

Crash Detection is a feature included in the Life360 Basic Plan, free to download and available on both iOS and Android devices.

Crash Detection Saves Lives 

Crashes can happen at any time, and when they do, have a system in place that will help you get the help you need as quickly as possible. That’s where crash detection comes in. 

While many different crash detection systems are available, Life360 is one of the most reliable and accurate options on the market today. In addition, with its fast response time and easy-to-use interface, Life360 is perfect for drivers of all ages and experience levels. Register online today.