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"Disturbing."

That is how a ranking official with the Colorado Department of Transportation terms the results of a recent survey sent to hundreds of motorists across the state that solicited their responses to driving-related questions.

If CDOT personnel overseeing the survey effort thought that incoming responses might be a bit alarming, they're probably losing sleep now in the wake of their evaluation of Colorado drivers' habits and tendencies revealed through survey answers.

Here's something to consider: Extrapolated from survey results, drivers in about 15 of every 100 vehicles out on state roads and freeways occasionally text while behind the wheel.

And about one-quarter of all motorists in the state interact in other ways with their phones while driving.

That logically begs this question: How long will such roadway behavior be tolerated in the state and nationally, when its repercussions are stark and even tragically evident on a daily basis?

Drivers -- far too many drivers -- continue to engage in flatly dangerous behaviors while the ignition is on, because they perhaps feel a sense of invulnerability (accidents only happen to other people) and because they don't truly fear the legal consequences.

Until that changes, fatal accident statistics and sad stories chronicling wrongful death outcomes linked with distracted driving will continue to tick upward in nonstop fashion.

The Denver Post cites a CDOT report that almost 60 people have already died in Colorado so far this year in motor vehicle accidents.

Candidly, dire accident numbers will resolutely tick upward over time unless motorists as a collective group are somehow induced to take their eyes off their mobile devices and direct them back toward where they belong while behind the wheel.

And that is on the road, obviously.

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