The BlackBerry Outage’s Bright Side: Driving Was Safer

Blackberry BoldResearch in Motion’s three-day service outage left people unable to make calls, access protected business accounts and send messages via BlackBerry Messenger. The result: a whole lot of inconvenience and, if police in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are to be believed, safer roads.

Abu Dhabi’s The National reported that during the outage there were 20 – 40 percent fewer traffic accidents in different the Emirates:

In Dubai, traffic accidents fell 20 per cent from average rates on the days BlackBerry users were unable to use its messaging service. In Abu Dhabi, the number of accidents this week fell 40 per cent and there were no fatal accidents.

On average there is a traffic accident every three minutes in Dubai, while in Abu Dhabi there is a fatal accident every two days.

Before drawing any conclusions, it’s worth pointing out that Research in Motion is pretty big in the Emirates. The outage would have affected a lot of people, so it’s not a simple case of a few people without their BlackBerries. They account for approximately 500,000 of the 11 million phone subscriptions in the country.

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