Women are more likely than men to illegally use their mobile phone while driving, according to research by Select Car Leasing.
The survey of 1,200 motorists – evenly split between males and females – found 17% of women admitted ‘checking their phone’ while driving in the past 12 months, compared to 11% of men.
A further 7% of women said they had sent at least one text while in control of a vehicle, compared to 4% of men.
Five per cent of females said they had ‘read email, checked internet or done something else on my phone’, compared to 4% of men.
Mark Tongue, company director of Select Car Leasing said the fact that both sexes readily admitted to the crime was alarming.
He added: “Overall, our study showed that four in 10 (40%) of all drivers admit to checking their phone at least ‘rarely’ while at lights or in traffic.
“And that’s a concerning stat. Doing it just the once is enough to put you and other road users in danger.
“Road safety is everybody’s responsibility. And all calls or texts can wait when checking them can be the difference between living and dying.”
Texting and driving can land drivers six penalty points and a £200 fine, and can also cost the licence of those who have been driving for under two years.
When asked, 'How often do you pick up your phone when stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic?’, women were also marginally more likely to reach for their gadget.
Around 15% of females said they did so either ‘very often’ or ‘quite often’, where just 11 per cent of males said the same.
Age was also a factor in whether drivers would illegally use their phone while driving: in the survey, those aged 18-24 were far more likely to be distracted by their phone than motorists above the age of 45.
Overall, 29% of 18-24 year olds admitted checking their phone in the past 12 months, compared to 115 of 45-54 year olds, and just 6% of 55-64 year olds.