* Mobile phones and cars don't mix * UK drivers are not getting the message * We investigate scale of the problem...
Research in America has shown that you're four times more likely to crash when driving and on the phone, and it isn't always a bent bonnet or a stiff neck that results.
Using a hand-held phone while driving is against the law, and you can get a 60 fine and three points on your licence for each offence. If the case ends up in court, the fine could rise to 1000. There's also the prospect of ending up in jail, or even killing someone or yourself.
In 2007, a 24-year-old woman was killed when her stationary car was hit by another travelling at 70mph. In the minutes leading up to the crash, the 21-year-old female driver of the other car had sent and received more than 20 text messages. She was sentenced to 21 months in jail.
One driver we spotted using a phone was at the wheel of a 15-tonne double-decker busLater that year, a car driver reaching for his phone swerved into on-coming traffic, killing two men. He was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and sent to prison for six years.
There are many more examples we could cite. In 2007 alone, 25 road deaths in the UK were directly attributed to mobile phones, with a further 323 resultant injuries.
The true number is almost certainly much higher, because mobile phone records aren't automatically used when investigating accidents.