Nearly half of young drivers continue to use hand-held phones while driving despite the safety dangers it poses, a study by the RAC shows.
A poll of more than 1,000 motorists shows 48% of drivers aged between 18 to 24 use phones at the wheel and risk pushing up theircar insurance premiums with such dangerous behaviour.
More than a fifth (21%) in this age group admitted to texting while they were on the road - up from 14% in a similar survey last year.
Around 15% of the young motorists said they tweet, while 8% play games on their smartphone when they are driving.
But more than half of those polled acknowledged the safety risk of such behaviour by calling for tougher penalties, with just 10% saying existing rules are sufficient deterrents.
RAC motoring strategist Adrian Tink said: "A driver using a hand-held mobile phones is still an all-too-common sight, and one that appears to be getting worse."
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