Distracted Driving in Charlotte Series Pt. 1

Handheld Devices to Blame for Many Wrecks


by Derek James/Photojournalists Mike Thomas/Marvin Beach

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It didn't take long for us to illustrate the problem of distracted driving around Charlotte.

Melissa McAtee witnessed a rear-end collision while talking with WCCB about how she was a victim in a distracted driver accident two years ago.

The wreck brought back memories of when she was rear-ended at a stoplight at Highway 51 and Rea Road.

"Whiplash, six weeks of physical therapy, bumps and bruises. My car was in the shop for a month," explains McAtee.

The driver who hit Melissa was cited for distracted driving.

"He dropped his cell phone and bent down to pick it up from the floorboard and didn't take his hands off the wheel or his foot off the gas and then sat back up and it was right there," says McAtee.

Police say distracted driving laws are difficult and dangerous to enforce.

"There are a lot of exceptions that kind of hinder us being able to enforce it. The danger to us is us focusing on that driver while we're in motion trying to see if they are texting," explains Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Jonathan Cerdan.

Tuesday, May 14th at 6:45am we'll show you all the crashes last year in Mecklenburg County where distracted driving was a contributing factor.

We discovered three hot spots where a majority of the crashes happened and a time of day when they most often occur.

I also wants to hear your distracted driving stories. Reach out to me, djames@wccbcharlotte.com or DerekJamesTV on Facebook & Twitter.