Distracted driving in Fairfax has steadily grown over the past few years, causing an alarmingly high number of accidents. In the past three years, over 3,350 accidents attributed to driver distraction have occurred throughout the county. As a result, the Fairfax County Police Department decided to put additional focus on distracted driving awareness by holding its first ever driver distraction training session.
The main purpose of the seminar was to raise awareness about the consequences of driving while texting, talking on the phone, or using electronic devices. In order to hear a firsthand account of distracted driving devastation, the department asked a local mother, Patty Kruszewski, to speak about the fatal distraction accident that killed her daughter, Lanie. Lanie was bicycling down River Road when an SUV struck her, dragged her 40 feet, and continued down the road. Investigations later determined that the driver, Elias Webb, was distracted while talking on his cell phone and never noticed Lanie or her bike.
The training also tried to raise awareness about other attributes associated with distracted driving that could affect the county:
- Legal challenges (proof, lawsuits and incarceration)
- Psychology of the distracted driver
- Enforcement issues
- Current trends in cell phones, GPS devices, radio, and texting
- Areas with high frequency of distracted driving incidents
The Fairfax County Police strongly encourage drivers to stay off electronic devices while driving and be especially careful around intersections, as certain areas are beginning to become hotspots for distracted driving accidents.
Top Five Fairfax Locations for DD Crashes
- 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
The Fairfax County Police will continue efforts to educate and raise awareness about distracted driving. Law enforcement officers hope drivers will understand the dangers and put their cellphones away before they get behind the wheel.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month; help us raise awareness by sharing this article with your friends and family. Let them know you care by affirming that “no text is worth a life.”