BlackBerry Outrage Prompted Fewer Traffic Crashes – What does it mean for subscribers? The outage that millions of BlackBerry customers experienced last week is linked to fewer traffic collisions. According to data released last week by NYPD, distracted drivers were the leading cause of motor vehicle crashes in August.
In fact, of the 16,784 incidents, 1,877 were attributed to “driver inattention/distraction,” while an additional 10 were linked specifically to cell phones or other electronic mobile devices.
The recent BlackBerry service outage in Europe, Africa and the Middle East served to illustrate the extent of the problem in two cities. The National reports: A dramatic fall in traffic crashes this week has been directly linked to the three-day disruption in services.
In Dubai, while Blackberries were offline, traffic accidents fell 20% from their average rates. In Abu Dhabi, accidents fell by 40% and there were no fatal collisions. The director of the local police department said that “accidents were reduced by 40 percent, and the fact that BlackBerry services were down definitely contributed to that.”
Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the chief of police, and Brig Gen Hussein Al Harethi, the director of the Abu Dhabi Police traffic department, linked the drop in accidents to the disruption of BlackBerry services between Tuesday and Thursday.
Gen Tamim said police found “a significant drop in accidents by young drivers and men on those three days.” He said younger people were the largest user group of the Messenger service. Last weekâ€™s developments have reportedly acted as a wake-up call to drivers and authorities in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, where police are issuing fines to distracted drivers and confiscating their vehicles.
The big BlackBerry outage is having an unexpected positive side-benefit. It seems that with drivers unable to check their messages, they’re focusing more on the road and driving safer. Hopefully, those New York drivers will get the message.