By Devin Bartolotta

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Holiday travelers are already on the move — and many of them, despite the warnings, will drive distracted.

Whether you live in Maryland, or are just passing through, AAA is making sure you’re aware of the law — and won’t be part of the problem.

More than two million Marylanders will buckle up this weekend for holiday road trips.

“I leave at night. Less traffic, kids will sleep,” says one motorist.

And many of those people — will drive distracted, even with kids in the backseat, resulting in 29,000 injuries and 230 deaths on Maryland roads every year.

“You’re going home to your loved ones and you want to get there in one piece,” says Ragina Avarella, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman.

AAA is spreading the word at rest stops to those from Maryland — or those just passing through.

“They may not know what the law is here in Maryland, so we’re reminding them that not only is it illegal to talk on a handheld device, it’s illegal to text,” says Avarella.

Twelve Maryland rest stops are now designated “safe texting zones,”  hoping to cut down on something drivers see every day.

“Always on the phone. People don’t understand the safety that you have to have on the road, especially on the highway. One quick second you take your eyes off that road, it could be all over for you,” says one Maryland driver.

Distracted driving contributes to the 58-percent of Maryland crashes blamed on distracted drivers.

The message: it’s up to drivers to stay focused. And keep Maryland roads safe this holiday weekend.

Nationwide, eight people are killed every day due to distracted driving. Drivers who cause a crash while using their phone could face a year in jail and a fine of 5-thousand dollars.


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