Essex drivers are the worst offenders when it comes to using a mobile while driving, according to an insurance firm.

Adrian Flux, one of the UK's leading car insurance brokers, analysed the most recent motoring offences data from the Ministry of Justice and found Essex is in the top 10 places for using the phone while behind the wheel.

Across all regions in England and Wales, the report reveals that Essex had the highest number of mobile phone user offences per 1,000 people in 2019. This was shortly followed by Suffolk and Greater London.

Greater London previously took top spot in 2018 for the region with the highest rate of mobile phone-related offences. However, in 2019, thanks to Greater London seeing a decrease of these offences of around 34%, Essex stole first place, with Suffolk not far behind. In fact, while the average rate for mobile phone-related driving offences in England and Wales in 2019 was 0.17 per 1,000, Essex recorded a figure around 2.5 times that at 0.44 per 1,000.

Despite Essex seeing a decrease of mobile phone use offences, at 876 offences in 2018 and 799 offences in 2019, it remains the area with the highest rate of mobile phones use offences.

Essex also had the seventh highest number of drug-related driving offences per 1,000 people in 2019. Out of all regions across England and Wales, Essex has seen the highest increase in drug-related driving offences year-on-year.

In fact, the number of drug-related driving offences in Essex has increased by 72.5% year-on-year, rising from 475 offences in 2018 to 820 offences in 2019.

Gerry Bucke, General Manager, Adrian Flux: “As a very serious offence, it is surprising that using a mobile phone while driving was revealed to be the tenth most common motoring offence in 2019. Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving is both dangerous to you and others on the road. It’s also illegal and you could get into very serious trouble for doing so. In fact, as we have discovered in our research, larger fines have increased over the past few years which is another reason why you should never use your phone while driving.”