Police accident investigators are checking phone records to see if the drivers involved in a crash were on their phone around the time of the incident.
Some are charged with careless or dangerous driving as a result – plus using a phone while driving is illegal and can result in a fine of up to £1,000 or a ban.
Once evidence is available that a driver was on the phone at the time of an accident, insurance companies can void polices and refuse to pay out claims on the grounds the driver contributed to their own misfortune.
A new survey has revealed that 40 per cent of drivers check their phones while behind the wheel.
The survey, for a car insurance comparison web site, also claims one in five motorists checks their phone once every 15 minutes during a car journey.
Some of the calls are the result of stress at work – with 15 per cent of drivers sending texts, emails or calling colleagues while sitting in traffic, while 21 per cent did the same waiting at traffic lights and 45 per cent confessed they would not start their trip with having their phone in reach.
New speed cameras under development will identify drivers – and if they are using their phones if a camera is tripped by speeding.
The courts regularly deal with motorists involved in incidents on the road as a result of using their mobile phones while driving.
The latest incident was lorry driver Ben Poole, 27, who was jailed for eight months and banned from driving for two years after admitting dangerous driving, driving while drunk, three charges of failing to stop after an accident and three charges of failing to report an accident at Stoke Crown Court.
Poole’s girlfriend dumped him by text when he was in a pub. He left in his flatbed lorry and collided with three cars. When breathalysed he was more than three times over the legal limit.
Judge Paul Glenn said Poole was concentrating on his mobile phone more than the road.