A hallmark feature of the Pixel 4 is its ability to detect car crashes and call 911 for you (only in the US). This smart option can potentially save many lives, but it's not enabled by default on the device. Here's how you can turn it on.

Your Pixel 4 should come with a Personal Safety app, shown in the app drawer under the simpler name, "Safety." Open it, fill up the few personal details required, then hit Settings inside the app and choose Car crash detection. This will launch a tutorial that explains how the feature works then turn it on.

Left: Personal Safety app settings. Right: Car crash detection.

Your phone uses its location, motion sensors, and ambient audio to detect a crash. When it thinks one has happened, it rings an alarm at max volume and pops a screen asking if you're OK or if you need help. If you tell it you're fine, you can further specify that there was no crash or that it was minor. However, if you tap asking for help or don't respond within 60 seconds, your phone will call 911 and share your current location so emergency services know how to quickly assist you.

There's a short demo of the feature under Settings > Demos > Car crash detection (also found in the Pixel Tips app) that explains things with a nice animation.

The Personal Safety app isn't officially available on my Pixel 2 XL, but the APK file installs just fine. Since I'm not in the US, I don't see the option to enable car crash detection. If you have a Pixel 3 or older and live in the US, you can give it a try and let us know how it works for you.

Personal Safety
Personal Safety
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
  • Thanks:
  • Jimmy G