While businesses and people had problems communicating and doing work over the past week due to the BlackBerry outage, at least there was something good to come out of it. According to reports from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the three-day disruption in BlackBerry services helped to save lives – by making the roads safer.
In Abu Dhabi there is a fatal accident every two days, and in Dubai there is an accident every three minutes. During the service interruption last week, it was reported that the number of traffic accidents in Abu Dhabi fell 40% and there were no fatal accidents, while in Dubai the accident rates fell by 20%.
Apparently one of the main causes of accidents has been due to the frequent use of the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service while driving. No word on how it affected the accident statistics for other areas in the world, but it does give you an idea of how many people use BlackBerry phones in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
In the mean time, to apologize for the downtime, RIM has been giving away over $100 worth of premium apps to its customers for free as an apology (ironically one of the apps in the giveaway is called DriveSafe.ly). How was the BlackBerry outage for you last week? Was it a major inconvenience or one that didn’t really matter?