More than a quarter (28 percent) of drivers admit to texting while at the wheel says Brake.

Research of 841 UK drivers by the road safety charity, which was also conducted in conjunction with Direct Line, revealed eight percent of drivers admit they text and drive at least once a week.

Furthermore, one in 11 drivers (nine percent) says they surf the web, read emails and even check social networking sites from their handset while driving.

Brake said texting makes drivers 23 times more likely to cause a crash. As well as calling on drivers to commit to turning off their phone and putting it out of reach when driving to prevent temptation, the charity also wants the government to increase traffic policing when it comes to using phones while driving. Brake has also suggested a change in the law so those caught using a mobile phone while driving will be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 12 months.

"People who text, use the web or social networking when driving are taking enormous risks with their own and other people's lives. This kind of irresponsible behaviour is illegal and it kills so there should be no excuses," said Julie Townsend, Brake campaigns director.

Meanwhile, Frances Browning from Direct Line Car Insurance said many drivers feel it is perfectly acceptable to drive whilst talking, texting, emailing or even surfing the web on their phone.

"It isn't and there is no excuse to undertake these activities. No call or text is that important to risk your own life or the lives of others. The way to reduce any temptation to use your phone or answer a call is simple, switch it off when you're behind the wheel."