Cyclist Crashes at 20mph and Blacks Out, Is Saved by His Apple Watch

One cyclist from Spokane, Washington, is thrilled he placed his faith in the Apple Watch as his ever-present companion on his rides.
Cyclist's Apple Watch calls 911 after he crashes and blacks out, saves his life 6 photos
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On September 15, Bob Burdett, 62, was riding his bike to meet his son for an appointment. He was riding at the bottom of Doomsday Hill when he made a turn at about 20mph: his bike went right but his body went left, he tells the Seattle Times.

Bob had his helmet on because he’s very particular about safety, as he’s been since he started cycling as a hobby. He bought his Apple Watch earlier on, on the same consideration: that he could rely on its feature of detecting a hard fall, should push come to shove.

The push came. Bob hit his head, cracked his helmet and blacked out. When he woke up minutes later, he was already in the ambulance, on the way to the hospital. His watch had dialed 911 for him and also texted his son, who was listed as his emergency contact, to inform him that he, Bob, had been in a fall.

Apple Watch has the hard fall detect feature since series 4, but this is the first case in Spokane when a smart watch has dialed 911 all on its own, Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer tells the publication. Schaeffer himself uses the watch and has the safety feature activated.

“I think it’s just another opportunity for the fire service to leverage technology and use it to improve people’s lives,” Schaeffer says.

“It became one of those things where I knew I was going to be riding alone a lot,”
Bob says of his decision to buy the watch. “It was the reason I bought the watch in the first place. I didn’t know if it was going to work, but I guess it does.”

When it detects a hard fall, Apple Watch alerts the wearer for 1 minute through sound and vibration, before calling the emergency services. If the wearer is immobile during this time, it calls 911 and informs the operator of the wearer’s location, as well as the fact that they’ve taken a fall, through a prerecorded message. The feature can be disabled or the wearer can cancel the 911 call if he’s ok after the fall.


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