Tweeting at the wheel the latest safety concern

Tweeting at the wheel of the car is the latest safety menace on the roads, according to a new survey.

More than a third of drivers admit to checking a text or email, or using social media, while at the wheel, research by Halfords reveals.

The study comes as police forces around the UK – including Scotland – launch a crackdown on the use of handheld mobile phones by motorists as evidence shows that the law is being flouted more than ever.

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The obsession with remaining in touch has increased thanks to the new generation of smart phones which means drivers are no longer content just to make or receive calls illegally, but look at messages, and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter while on the move. Some 35 per cent of drivers said they read text messages – rising to 57 per cent among under 25s – while almost one in five (19 per cent) have gone on social networks or the internet. The car accessory retailer found that, within a year, the number of motorists who admitted to texting while driving had doubled, while those using social media had quadrupled.

Using a mobile phone without Bluetooth or a hands free kit is the third most hated behaviour on the road.