When not temporarily cheered by bellowing along to that song out of Frozen (see below), Britian’s white van drivers are a testy bunch, dangerously prone to hair-trigger tetchiness.

And if there’s one thing guaranteed to push them over the edge into a full-on stonking strop, that one thing would almost certainly be: delays due to some idiot having an accident on the road ahead.

That’s according to important new research from Driver Fist Assist (DFS), the not for profit body that encourages ordinary people to have a go at saving the lives of other ordinary people injured in RTAs. DFS have been asking commercial van drivers up and down the country what they think about people have accidents. Their verdict is damning.

Almost half of those surveyed complained that they had been held up by an RTA (a mishap or “accident” involving one or more vehicles that is either on or in the near vicinity of a road at the time of the aforementioned misadventure) at least once a month. Almost a third said this had happened to them “three to five” times per month.

Those affected claimed the resulting delays typically extended their journey times by between 30 minutes and an hour, time they most definitely had not spent nipping down the bookies, dashing over to Beverley Dearbold’s for a frantic session of her famous hospitality, or popping into Waitrose for some organic kohlrabi.

Alarmingly, Driver Fast Assist’s figures make clear that on-road accidents involving vehicles not only kill, maim and otherwise injure loads of people, but, more importantly, are deeply aggravating for commercial vehicle drivers and – get this – are taking a severe toll on the UK economy, with over 100,000 man hours lost without trace each year.

Almost one in four van men complained that accidents made them feel a bit stressed out, due to the pressure they felt to drive really fast (something they normally hate to do) in a Prostian attempt to regain lost time.

Many van drivers noted that it would be nice if someone could clear up the mess a bit quicker when there’s been a pile-up so they can get on with their busy lives behind the wheel. Well, funnily enough, DFS have a suggestion for frustrated WVMs: why not learn how to deliver post-prang first aid so you can help clear up accidents yourself!

When asked ‘If those who have completed the DFA course are able to help open roads quicker and reduce delays, would you consider taking the training course to be a DFA member?’ 76% of drivers answered yes.

Hearteningly, a good number of them went on to do exactly that, some for as long as a second or two, before getting back in their vans and tearing off with Idina Menzel pumping on the stereo.



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