Driving using a mobile phone is clearly a hazard, as it takes your attention away from the road – and in some instances, it seems motorists are becoming wiser to the risks of taking calls while at the wheel.

Figures from Sainsbury’s Car Insurance show just 5% of drivers now use a mobile phone for calls while driving without using a hands-free kit, a one percentage point drop since 2011.

But a more concerning way of driving using a mobile phone – texting while at the wheel – is on the increase, from 4% last year to 5% in 2012.

It’s not just the risk of being arrested for committing driving offences that should discourage you from using a mobile phone while in control of a vehicle.

There are demonstrable safety concerns too – and Sainsbury’s Car Insurance claim motorists’ reaction times are 50% longer while using a phone.

Ben Tyte, head of Sainsbury’s Car Insurance, says: “Being a safe driver means you are not only protecting yourself and your family, but also other motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.”

Any convictions for driving offences are likely to lead to higher insurance premiums too, adding a financial benefit to sticking to the rules.