More than a quarter of UK drivers could be unnecessarily risking damaging their cars and tyres by using their mobile phone at the wheel, according to new research.
Road safety charity Brake and Direct Line Car Insurance have published a survey which reveals that 28 per cent of motorists text at the wheel and eight per cent do this at least once a week.
Furthermore, just under one in ten drivers (nine per cent) surfs the web, emails, uses apps or accesses social networking sites when driving.
In addition to being illegal, research from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute revealed that texting makes drivers 23 times more likely to cause a crash.
Frances Browning, spokeswoman for Direct Line Car Insurance, said: "No call or text is that important to risk your own life or the lives of others.
"The way to reduce any temptation to use your phone or answer a call is simple, switch it off when you're behind the wheel."
Drivers who are caught using their phone currently receive a fixed penalty notice of £60 and three points on their licence.