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Study: Distracted Drivers Know Dangers But Disregard Them

BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ)—According to a recent study by AAA, new numbers show that despite the high number of deaths and injuries, people still haven't gotten the message when it comes to distracted driving.

Christie Ileto has more on the recent findings.

WJZ cameras catch drivers speeding, texting, distracted--it seems 2nd nature until it kills a loved one.

"When you're behind the wheel of a car you have a 3-4 ton weapon, and what you should be doing is nothing but driving," said Susan Yum.

Susan Yum's son Jake, met a fate no 5-year-old old should meet when a driver, on his cell, crashed into their car killing him in 2011.

A new AAA study says Marylanders are the most distracted-- even though 1 in 4 have been in a serious crash in the last 2 years.

"It's this do as I do, not as I say mentality," said Ragina Cooper Averella, of AAA Mid-Atlantic.

60 percent of Marylanders admit to speeding on neighborhood streets, that's 12 percent higher than the national average.

A similar trend when it comes to driving drowsy and texting--33 percent of Marylanders drivers are glued to their phones, above then nation's 27 percent.

State police see it all too often.

Christie: "When you pull someone over what the most common excuse you hear?"

Sgt. Black: "They use a number of excuses but again those excuses aren't valid."

If the study shows drivers already know the dangers than why are the numbers so much higher in Maryland than across the state.

Christie: "How do you react to hearing about those types of numbers?

Susan: "It concerns me, and it also upsetting with all these awareness efforts that people aren't getting the message."

A message some may not get until it's too late.

The study also showed that two-thirds of drivers believed hands free devices were safe, despite growing research that proves their increasing dangers behind the wheel.

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