The survey reported that around 31% of motorists said that they used their phone while driving compared to 8% in 2014.
7% – 19% sent messages or posted on social media and a shocking 14% say that they take videos and pictures whilst behind the wheel.
The RAC report surveyed 1,714 UK drivers. The organisation said the use of hand held devices was the biggest road safety concern among motorists today.
The 27% drop in dedicated road policing means that drivers do not fear they will be caught for offences not detected by automatic cameras.
It is illegal to drive a car or ride a motorcycle using a handheld phone. Drivers can get an automatic fixed penalty notice, three penalty points and £100 fine. The case could also go to Court, where the maximum fine is £1,000 and licence disqualification.
The Department of Transport figures show that the use of the phone was a contributory factorin 492 accidents in the UK in 2014. 21 of these were fatal and 84 serious.
The RAC survey also found the following:
- 7% used their phone while driving because they knew they would not be caught.
- 23% claimed it was for an emergency, 21% required information for the journey and 12% said it has become a habit.
The government proposes introducing tougher punishments for illegal mobile use by motorists.
The minimum fine for non HGV drivers is expected to rise from £100 to £150, while penalty points are set to increase from 3 to 4.
Regardless of the points and fines, motorists already face tough penalties for mobile phone use when driving such as causing death by dangerous driving, which can carry a substantial prison term.