The RAC has warned the rising popularity of the likes of FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Snapchat for video calls is posing a ‘new and present danger’ on the UK’s roads.
A survey, carried out for the RAC Report on Motoring 2020, shows 8% of drivers admit to taking part in video calls while behind the wheel.
This figure rises to 18% among drivers aged 17-24 years.
Meanwhile, nearly three-in-10 (29%) of all drivers say they make and receive calls on handheld phones while driving – 5% more than last year and the highest proportion since 2016.
Just under one-in-10 young drivers (9%) say they play games on their phones while driving, making them three-times more likely to do this compared to the average UK driver.
The RAC says the data suggests a renewed focus is needed to bring about a lasting change in behaviour among motorists, particularly younger drivers.
Simon Williams, RAC road safety spokesperson, said: “Our figures highlight what many drivers already know – that the problem of illegal phone use at the wheel has far from disappeared.
“While there’s been a reduction in some elements of this dangerous activity, more people say they are making and taking calls now than at any point since 2016, shortly before tougher penalties were introduced.
“And the rise in the popularity of video calls means this type of communication represents a new, clear and present danger on the UK’s roads in 2020.”