Man saved by smartwatch after his bike plummets off a cliff

Apple Watch in SOS mode
(Image credit: Future)

A motorcyclist in Utah fell 40-50ft down a cliff but was found by authorities and safety crews after his smartwatch sent a crash alert. According to the Washington County Sheriff's Office, the man was riding in Washington County, near the Warner Valley area when he came off the cliff.

The alert from his watch sent out search and rescue teams, deputies, and a life flight helicopter. He was found, his condition stabilized, and he was sent out to a hospital to be treated. While his condition was critical, he is expected to make a full recovery.

Not the first to be saved

Smartwatches, and in particular the best Apple Watch, have been saving lives everywhere. The new Crash Detection feature has been instrumental in several different cases similar to this one. A Reddit user reported that the SOS and Crash Detection helped their wife during a traumatic car crash, as well as letting them know what was happening.

The feature can detect a crash with the accelerometer and alert authorities when the user is unable to get to their phone. While in this case it's not confirmed whether the motorcyclist was using an Apple Watch, it certainly seems likely given the way that the feature seemed to work.

Crash detection has also been a bit of a headache for some emergency services as well, with an increase in accidental 911 calls. Activities such as snowmobiling trigger the accelerometer in the Apple Watch, and the crash detection feature flicks into action as if there was an accident.

Crash detection isn't the only way an Apple Watch has saved lives, however. A woman discovered she had a heart problem with her Apple Watch, and it let doctors diagnose the issue and help her get better. These features like Crash Detection and heart rate monitoring are available on the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra, and the Apple Watch SE (2nd generation).

Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.