WASHINGTON - Police officers in the D.C. area have been involved in hundreds of "preventable accidents" every year - "vehicular collisions that could have been avoided had the drivers adhered to traffic laws and basic roadway etiquette," according to a report in the Washington Examiner.

D.C. police officers were involved in 237 accidents last fiscal year and more than 600 others the prior year, while Montgomery County police tallied 385 collisions in fiscal 2009, and 57 preventable accidents so far this fiscal year, according to the Examiner. 

"These guys are sometimes the worst drivers out there," John Townsend, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman, told the Examiner. "It's almost like they're teenagers -- overconfident in their ability to drive. They take defensive driving courses, but they probably should take more of them."

In fiscal 2009, according to D.C. statistics, District police employees sideswiped vehicles in parking lots, reversed into numerous "fixed objects," and opened their doors into traffic. They passed and backed up without caution, failed to control speed to avoid colliding, made unsafe U-turns, followed too close, drove on sidewalks, changed lanes without caution, and ran red lights. At least three failed to place their cars in park. One failed to "pay full time attention" as he operated his Segway.

Fortunately, no fatalities have resulted from any of the accidents this year, according to the Examiner.