How to enable car crash detection on a Google Pixel

Car Crash Detection on a Google Pixel 6a
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Apple might have just announced car crash detection on its latest Apple Watches, but did you know Pixel phones have been able to do this for years? Using its location, motion sensors, and ambient audio, your Google Pixel is able to determine if you've been in an accident. If so, it can sound an alarm to make sure you're OK and call 911 if necessary. It's a feature we absolutely recommend you have turned on, so today, we're going to teach you how to do just that.

How to enable car crash detection on a Google Pixel

  1. Open the Personal Safety app (it's pre-installed on your Pixel). Alternatively, you can navigate to system settings, scroll down to safety & emergency, and tap on open personal safety.
  2. If this is your first time opening the Personal Safety app, you'll need to run through the setup.
  3. Once you get to the Personal Safety app's home screen, tap the gear icon in the upper-left corner.

Enabling Car Crash detection on a Google Pixel

(Image credit: Android Central)
  1. Tap Car crash detection.
  2. Tap the toggle to turn it on. The toggle slides right for on, left for off.
  3. Once enabled, car crash detection will need additional permissions in order to work. Tap While using this app to allow the app to use the requested permissions when Personal Safety is open.

From that page, you can tap Try a demo at the bottom to see how car crash detection works.

Pixels' car crash detection demo

(Image credit: Android Central)

When a crash is detected, the Pixel vibrates and sounds an alarm. The Assistant then speaks to you, telling you to say "Emergency" if you want it to call 911. Alternatively, you can say "Cancel" if everything's alright.

If you say "Cancel" or tap the "I'm OK" button on your screen, you can indicate whether you were in a minor crash or didn't have an accident at all. By doing this, you can help Google improve its detection methods so that it's more accurate in the future.

Alternatively, if you do end up needing to call 911, you'll see your exact location on the Pixel's display so you can let the dispatcher know exactly where you are.

We certainly hope you never need to use car crash detection on your Pixel, but in the event that something does happen, it's nice knowing there are safety measures in place to keep you safe.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu