Distracted Driving in Charlotte Series Pt. 3

The number one distracted driver danger zone in Mecklenburg County.


by Derek James/Photojournalist Marvin Beach

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In analyzing 81 reports of distracted driver wrecks in Mecklenburg County, WCCB learned that a majority of the wrecks were clustered into three areas. Pineville reported the third most, while Huntersville/Cornelius was a close second second.

Over a third of all distracted driver wrecks were in Matthews, making the area the top distracted driver danger zone. Multiple accidents were reported on Independence, Matthews Township Parkway and John Street.

Matthews Police say the problem is much larger than the numbers indicate.

"People just aren't telling us when we get there to investigate. We also know that there's many, many near misses out there and a lot of times its just the good fortune of somebody who wasn't distracted that was able to swerve or avoid or quickly move their vehicle out of the way," explains Sgt. Stason Tyrrell of the Matthews Police Department.

Distracted driving wrecks are also dangerous and difficult for police to enforce.

"It is frustrating but we can only work within the law and I hope that because of news stories, coverage of things to bring to light that it's not okay to text and drive," says Officer Jonathan Cerdan of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.

While police are vigilant they would love to see the text and drive habit broken.

"Think about your loved ones. Would you want them being hit by somebody that was being irresponsible? or would you rather say ok I'm going to step back take a minute. Voluntary compliance. I'm not going to do this," says Officer Cerdan.

There's one small change in behavior Sgt. Stason says could make all the difference. "Especially when we're in a Metropolitan area like this just wait a moment until you get to the next stop light and you'll have time to send the text message or something like that if it is imperative right then."