Drivers who use their phone behind the wheel could face two years in jail under new guidelines.
Motorists caught using MP3 players, fiddling with sat-navs or reading maps could also face jail.
New guidance from the Crown Prosecution Service makes a dangerous driving charge the “starting point” in cases where the behaviour has endangered other road users.
The new guidance also allows the worst cases of causing death by dangerous driving to be prosecuted as manslaughter, which carries a maximum life sentence.
Director of public prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald, QC, said: "The revised policy also responds to public concern about the dangers of driving while using a mobile phone and this means that a charge of dangerous driving will now be the starting point for this offence, where there is clear evidence that danger has been caused by its use."
He added: “I think it is right that prosecutors are given new guidance so that where the individual cases warrant it, then a manslaughter charge is selected."
Read the new policy here: www.cps.gov.uk/publications/prosecution/pbd_policy.html