Capacity Corner

Playing It Safe: The ABCs of Safe Bus Driving

Keeping Yourself and Your Riders Out of Danger

Whether you drive a school bus, charter bus or transit bus, your stresses are similar – dealing with conditions on the road as well as passenger distractions inside the vehicle. Take care of yourself and your passengers by practicing the following basic tips from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for bus drivers of all kinds.

Do Not Lose Your Cool

Distractions inside the bus are no reason to drive precariously. If you have to address a passenger issue, pull over. Otherwise, you put everyone’s safety at risk.

Maintain Your Vehicle

Inspect your vehicle before each trip. The most important thing is to check your brakes—learn how to do this and how to identify safety defects.

Know Your No-Zone

Obviously, your blind spots are larger than those on regular-sized vehicles. However, other drivers may be unaware of this, so be attentive in constantly checking for smaller vehicles in your no-zone. Statistics from the FMCSA show that a third of all accidents between buses and cars take place in the no-zone.

Be Careful in Work Zones

Where there is construction, there are extremely narrow lanes. Take your time going through these work zones—stay alert and stay focused. About one-third of work zone crashes involve buses or trucks, according to the FMCSA.

Take Advantage of Your Height

Your vehicle’s height will help you anticipate braking situations; however, also be aware that it causes low visibility of people—especially small children—directly beneath you. Be especially cautious of your height if you drive a school bus.

Back up Carefully

Only run your vehicle in reverse if it is absolutely necessary. Take all steps to ensure safety of those around you, including moving slowly and activating warning flashers.

 

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