More than 65 percent of motorists say that the biggest threat on the roads is using a mobile phone while driving, despite 35 percent admitting to driving while using a hand-held mobile device.

The research, collected by Kent County Council’s road safety team, suggests that 39 percent have used a hand-held phone while behind the wheel, and 34 percent have used their device to text, use apps, check email or use the internet. The survey also found that 49 percent of drivers use a hands-free device while behind the wheel.

According to Brake, the road safety charity, drivers who make phone calls while driving are four times more likely to be injured in a car accident, and hands-free calls present almost the same level of risk as hand-held calls.

Drivers caught using a hand-held phone while driving currently receive three penalty points on their licence and a fine of £100.

David Robinson, a serious injury solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Research such as this highlights the widespread issue of illegal and careless mobile phone use amongst drivers.

“Whether a driver is making a hands-free or hand-held call, the danger of distraction is equally high, yet the law against using a mobile phone while driving doesn’t cover hands-free devices.

“Based on these risks, the government must explore the idea of expanding the current law to hands-free devices while ensuring drivers are educated about the inherent risks associated with all types of mobile phone use.”