April is Distracted Driving Month across the country, and throughout Fairfax County, police are taking new steps to better train officers on the dangers of common driver practices.
The Fairfax County Police Department held its first-ever distracted driver training session for its officers. The focus of the training courses covered the topics of psychology, law enforcement, distracted driving trends, and the legal challenges that are associated with distracted driving.
Authorities identified the top five locations of distracted driving-related car crashes throughout Fairfax County. They were:
- Colvin Run Road/ Leesburg Pike
- Georgetown Pike/ Leesburg Pike
- Leesburg Pike/ Lewinsville Road
- Fairfax County Parkway/ Sunrise Valley Drive
- Franconia Road/ South Van Dorn Street
Crash statistics for Fairfax County showed that distracted driving caused 1,060 crashes in 2011; 1,128 in 2012; and 1,175 in 2013. Even though the increases may seem small, they are increases nonetheless. This is a trend that police hope to curb in the future.
In the meantime, the Fairfax County Police Department is advising motorists to:
- Not use cell phones to text, talk, or video record while driving.
- Spread the word about the dangers of cell phone use while driving.
- Understand how distractions can reduce cognitive brain function for drivers.
Besides cell phone use, there are numerous other activities that fall under the category of distracted driving. Some of these include eating/drinking, using electronic devices, talking with passengers, daydreaming, and rubbernecking.
At Lewis & Tompkins, we’d also like to urge Fairfax County drivers to stop and think about how to drive responsibly in order to keep yourselves, and others on the roads, safe. If you found this piece helpful, please share it with those you care about by posting a link on Facebook. We hope that in 2014 we’ll see a drop in these statistics.