Britons lose an amazing 885,000 mobile phone handsets each year - by accidentally dropping them into the toilet and flushing them away, according to new research.
SimplySwitch.com2 - the price comparison and switching service - said the flushed handsets were worth about #342 million.
Common causes of losing mobile handsets were falling out of pockets and being knocked into the toilet when being placed on things like the toilet roll holder.
The research revealed 4.5million handsets were lost or damaged every year. - with common catastrophes including leaving mobiles in the pub (810,000 handsets), in a taxi (315,000) or on a bus (225,000).
More bizarrely, family pet dogs chewed their way through 58,500 handsets last year - and another 116,000 went through a spin cycle with the dirty laundry.
The research found that over a quarter of mobile owners had lost or damaged a handset - with men more prone to carelessness than women.
Figures showed 28% of men admitted to breaking or losing their phone compared to 26% of women.
Karen Darby, from SimplySwitch.com, said : "Of the 18 million new handsets bought in the UK every year roughly 4.5 million will end up lost or damaged.
"With handsets now costing up to #400, and people often opting out of the insurance package, there’s more reason than ever to look after your mobile."
But owners do become more careful with age, the research revealed.
Although 40% of under-34s admitted to losing or damaging their handset, this dropped to 16% among the over-55s.
Ms Darby said: "With at least three quarters of the UK population now owning a mobile phone, we really are a nation that loves to talk.
"Because most people now rely on their mobile to stay in touch, it’s a good idea to keep a copy of your phone numbers on a computer or spare sim card.
"That way, if your mobile goes missing, all is not lost. As phones continue to shrink in size, they also become easier to lose, so people need to take extra care."