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Traffic accidents in Abu Dhabi decreased by 40 percent last week, and a 20 percent drop occurred in Dubai

Millions of BlackBerry users around the world experienced an outage last week that lasted for as long as four days. While such an event was frustrating for most who use Research In Motion's (RIMs) BlackBerry devices for work, police officers say the lack of mobile use was a good thing for roadways.

According to police in the United Arab Emirates, the inability to text or read emails during the BlackBerry outage last week led to less traffic accidents in the area.

Traffic accidents in Abu Dhabi decreased by 40 percent last week, and a 20 percent drop occurred in Dubai. Lt Gen Khalfan Tamiim, the chief of Dubai Police, and Brig Gen Hussein Al Harethi, director of the Abu Dhabi Police traffic department, said that the decrease in traffic accidents is attributed to the BlackBerry outage that began Monday, October 10.

"Absolutely nothing has happened in the past week in terms of killings on the road and we're really glad about that," said Harethi. "People are slowly starting to realize the dangers of using their phone while driving. The roads became much safer when BlackBerry stopped working."

According to RIM, there are 70 million BlackBerry users around the globe. The outage began in Europe, the Middle East and Africa on Monday, October 10, then spread to South America and Asia on Tuesday, and the United States and Canada on Wednesday. RIM apologized and offered free premium apps to compensate for the disruption.

Source: Naked Security

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RE: Math
By JasonMick on 10/18/2011 11:29:45 AM , Rating: 1
So if being out for 4 days of the week reduces accidents by 40% I guess that means that accidents would be down 70% if it was out all week?

Does that mean blackberry owners are responsible for 70% of all accidents in Abu Dhabi? Lol

Correlation != Causation

UAE logic fail... sigh...

RE: Math
By The Raven on 10/18/2011 11:51:35 AM , Rating: 1
Also are we assuming that 100% of drivers have BBs?

RE: Math
By dgingerich on 10/18/2011 12:53:49 PM , Rating: 4
After almost being run over by a mortgage insurance executive in a parking lot, driving his Ford F-250 dualie with his hands on his BB at the top of the steering wheel, I'd say it's more likely 100% of BB users cause accidents, eventually.

RE: Math
By ClownPuncher on 10/18/2011 1:16:28 PM , Rating: 2
What you say seems to be fact. I cannot refute anecdotal evidence.

RE: Math
By The Raven on 10/18/2011 2:27:15 PM , Rating: 2
I also was almost run over by a mortgage insurance executive driving his Ford F-250 dualie with his hands on his BB at the top of the steering wheel. Luckily the light turned yellow and susequntly red, and he slowed to a stop.

On the other hand I was ACTUALLY rear ended by a teenager who didn't own a cell phone in 1998.

RE: Math
By MrBlastman on 10/18/2011 3:08:04 PM , Rating: 4
Since we're being anecdotal, back in 1999 I happened to be rear ended by a woman (get the dirty thoughts out of your head right now) driving a pickup truck while she was yacking on her cellphone. When I got out of her car, I quickly noted to myself that she was _not_ a mortgage insurance executive.

I did, however, want to grab her phone that was still firmly clutched in her hand and throw it at her, but I did now. I will go on record saying that what I _did_ note to myself was her friend that came to help her (whom let me use her phone as I had no cellphone at the time) was modestly attractive.

Unfortunately, due to the prior rear-ending and utter pain in the azz that it all caused (not to mention back pain), I was not in the mood at the time to pursue a potential repeat-rear ender. It could have turned out to be a painful relationship. I already had my bumper permanently modified once and that was enough.

RE: Math
By MrBlastman on 10/18/2011 3:09:31 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, please change "When I got out of her car" to "When I got out of my car." However, when you think about it, when I got out of "her" car sure makes it more interesting.

RE: Math
By The Raven on 10/18/2011 5:23:51 PM , Rating: 2
For some reason I have a Billy Ocean song stuck in my head now...

RE: Math
By MrBlastman on 10/18/2011 10:50:31 PM , Rating: 2
Ahhh the wonderful 80's... Such great tunes.

RE: Math
By foolsgambit11 on 10/18/2011 5:06:44 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, was that me? I'm sure I was the only teenager to rear-end somebody in 1998.

RE: Math
By tastyratz on 10/18/2011 11:56:15 AM , Rating: 1
Absolutely. A very small sample group (population wise) and a sample size of only 4 days? How many accidents could they possibly normally have in a 4 day period? What average are they comparing against? Useless statistic if you ask me.

And considering the blackberry marketshare I find those kinds of numbers in plausible. There simply are not enough on the road anymore compared to android/iphone to make that drastic of a dent imho.

RE: Math
By Samus on 10/18/2011 10:44:07 PM , Rating: 4
Every. Single. Person. Missed the point.

If you read the Naked Security analysis, you'd understand their is a direct correlation to cell phone use and traffic accidents. They studied every week of traffic accidents throughout the year and last week had the lowest number by 40% when averaging all weeks of the year together.

It just so happens the Blackberry outage occured last week when a low number of accidents was reported, so without an expensive study, its safe to assume cell phone use = more traffic accidents.

Now that isn't shocking. We already know that using a cell phone while driving can be as dangerous as being intoxicated as previous studies have shown. But Blackberry phone service (voice/text) was unaffected. Only the data service was affected.

This shows how many people actually read/write email and surf the web while operating a dangerous 2-ton machine.

RE: Math
By tastyratz on 10/20/2011 1:33:06 PM , Rating: 2
No, this does NOT show that. The point was that someone correlated the statistic. I disagree with what point you agree with.

I am sure there are PLENTY of other weeks during the year that are 40% below the average, it's the AVERAGE... and less than 1 week is not long enough to determine a reliable trend.
Did it contribute? Sure I bet it did... but the statistics are crap. Do you really think almost half of people in accidents are using a blackberry device for e-mails?

The numbers are illogical, and the study is inconclusive at best, even if a rational association can be connected.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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