Drivers are taking increasing risks with their lives and those of others by texting, checking the internet and using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook while driving, according to a new study.
The report, carried out for Halfords, revealed rising phone use by motorists. Checking for texts while driving rose by over a quarter on this time last year, while social networking doubled from the driving seat and receiving calls was 29 per cent higher than a year ago.
The rise comes despite legislation, passed four years ago this month, that awards three penalty points and a £60 fine to drivers caught in the act.
41 per cent of drivers took a call while 29 per cent made at least one call in the last 12 moths. Compared with a YouGov survey a year ago, 31 per cent of drivers took a call, while 22 per cent made a call. Men were found to be more likely to tend to their phone when they should be looking at the road.
Halfords said the rise in smartphone ownership had led to four per cent of drivers reading emails while in charge of a car, with three per cent posting on Facebook or sending an email.
Halfords research polled 2,050 adults, compared with the YouGov 2,100 sample size of adults. According to ComScore, 73 per cent of contract phones sold in the UK are smart phones.