Gulf States fact of the day

A dramatic fall in traffic accidents this week has been directly linked to the three-day disruption in BlackBerry services.

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.

There is more here, hat tip goes to @TomStandage.


That's the truth behind Siri. The ability to dictate text messages and emails has great appeal to drivers.

Grrr...Siri didn't invent this capability nor were voice actions on other platforms bad at doing this....

Dictating messages is still a distraction from driving.

Natural experiment, yay!

I wonder what else will happen? Sudden spike in births 9 months from now?

Could it be that some accidents were not reported because the blackberry wasn't working?

From the same article:

"Two weeks ago, Abu Dhabi Police announced a campaign against motorists who use their phones while at the wheel.

Gen Tamim likewise warned that Dubai Police will soon be using electronic evidence against drivers who cause accidents while using their smart devices."

Do we really just take their word on it when they claim it's caused by the Blackberry downtime and won't release figures? What kind of econometrics is that?

Sadly, the downtime was accompanied by a spike in fan-related deaths in South Korea.

Threadwinner. :)

>On average there is a traffic accident every three minutes in Dubai

And this is a country where drunk driving is presumably not a concern? Nor driving while female?

What the heck is going on over there?


Can you explain your comments about drunk driving and female drivers in Dubai?

bartman, Jim's pointing out that in islamic countries alcohol consumption and women driving are usually both forbidden. I don't know if that's the case in Dubai.

Which Islamic countries other than Saudi Arabia ban driving for women? (not a rhetorical question)

You're presumably unfamiliar with the difference between de facto and de jure. In kuwait, Iraq it isn't ILLEGAL but it absolutely is "banned"

There's no reply button on Farmer's comment, so I'll just comment here. No, it is not defacto banned for women to drive in Kuwait. I know this for a fact as I know women who drive in Kuwait. I don't know about the other countries (aside from Saudi Arabia), but I suspect Farmer is wrong about them too.

Adriano, if Jim thinks that alcohol is not freely (and legally) available, and that women are not able to drive, he is shockingly ignorant.

The UAE is not Saudi Arabia. The Wahabbis, both pre- and post-House of Saud have tried to conquer the land that comprises the UAE several times over the past couple hundred years. They have failed, and the UAE remains a separate country,and not part of Saudi Arabia.

For the record, I have been to several moslem countries, and alcohol has been freely and legally available in all of them. Also, women are legally able to drive in EVERY SINGLE Islamic country except Saudi Arabia.

Guess what, Saudi Arabia /= all of the Islamic world.

With respect to "what's going on over there", you basically have a combination of fatalism and a sense of leisurely entitlement that are, jointly, anathemic to the very notion of personal responsibility.

Again, not being illegal as defined by police is not equal to what is "banned" as defined by parochialism and gulf sensibilities. You lie if you imply women drivers make up even a fraction of motorists in the ME, inc UAE

Reply to Farmer, below, you're full of BS and know nothing of what you speak. Drive along the Corniche in around the parking lot of the Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi, and about a third of the cars are full of unaccompanied young women out joy-ridng in their daddy's (or more likely, in their own) M-B SLs and Porsche Cayennes, usually being followed around by similar carloads of young males. The favorite mating ritual over there is for a young man to give a cell-phone to a girl, so only he can call her. This results in a lot of young Emirati womens "harvesting' as many phones as they can, as some sort of competition, and then going down to Al-Falah Street to sell them by the bushelful to the used phone dealers.

I can only laugh at the way people like you, who have likely never spent a day outside of the borders of your own parochial little nation profess to know what the hell is going on around the world.

Also, you understand that "a fraction" means any portion between 0 and 1, right?

In continuation, as there is no kore direct reply option, you've done some exceptional cherry picking. Go to Sharjah and tell me if your anecdotes hold. The UAE is much more than Dubai.
Also, your cohort is young women. Howzzat project into 35+? We both know the answer

That's another very good reason not to answer my phone.
Not that I didn't already have enough reasons:

This story has been annoying the hell out of me ever since I heard it. Once again, let's all say it together, "CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION!" The next thing you know, some politician will try to ban cell phone use by citing this story and trying to sound scientific.

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