Almost half (47%) of commercial vehicle drivers are held up by a road traffic accidents at least once a month, with more than one in four (28%) being delayed three to five times.
And, if held up by a traffic accident, 44% said they are delayed by between 30 minutes and an hour.
The findings come from a survey by Driver First Assist, a road safety initiative which seeks to reduce road fatalities through incident first-on-scene training.
There are around 138,000 reported accidents on UK roads each year and assuming at least one commercial driver is stopped at every one of these incidents, the average time lost as a result could be in the region of 103,000 hours a year.
Of those who were delayed due to an accident, 40% felt under pressure to make up the time. Of those, 17% said this pressure came from their employer, 16% said it came from a combination of their employer and their client and 30% said they put this pressure on themselves.
By educating professional drivers, of which there are now approximately 466,600 on UK roads, on how to manage the scene of a collision, DFA predicts road traffic fatalities could be cut by up to 46%.
In addition, it says that the clear-up of accidents would be quicker, getting all road users on their way far sooner.
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% said yes.
David Heath, head of logistics at Clugston, said: “Road traffic collisions are a tragic reality of driving and something our fleet can come across on a daily basis.
“The Clugston Distribution drivers alone cover nearly seven million miles a year on UK roads so the more of my drivers I train the more chance we have of positive intervention using the Driver First Assist training.
“The Driver First Assist initiative is there for when sadly the worst does happen and we believe that having a skilled army of DFA-trained individuals on the road network will improve road safety as well as accident clearance times, for all road users.”
DFA founder David Higginbottom said: “Being delayed due to a road accident is stressful for everyone involved, not least for those drivers who have delivery targets to meet.
“But the good news is that better collision management in the first minutes after a crash can reduce deaths and serious injuries, as well as get everybody back on their way quicker.
“It is positive to see how many respondents recognised the benefits of training to be better able to respond to the scene of an accident and I would like to invite every operator, small or large, to put a representative forward for a free training course, to realise the benefits for themselves.”