Being a school bus driver comes with a lot of responsibility. Afterall, you are charged with safely transporting young children to and from school every day.
To ensure you are taking the proper precautions, it’s important to follow all safety procedures and tips– especially for first-time school bus drivers who might still be learning their new roles.
Preform Pre-trip Inspections
Before taking the bus out of the lot, ensure that it is prepped and ready for your route. This can include checking the fuel levels, inspecting the tires, and ensuring all mirrors are functioning and in the correct positions. Some operations might provide drivers with a pre-trip checklist to complete before beginning their route.
Get an Up-close Look at Your Surroundings
When on your route, never guess at what’s surrounding the bus, or how much distance is between the bus and an object. School buses are large vehicles and it can be difficult to make certain turns. Before assuming and increasing the risk of getting into an accident, take an up-close look at your surroundings – even if it means getting out of the bus to check.
Know the Equipment in the Bus
Make sure you know what all of the gages and levers are on the bus, and how to use them. It’s also important to know what the various lights and signals on the dashboard mean so you’re prepared in case the vehicle starts to malfunction.
Pay Attention to – and Follow – all Road Signs
Safety should be a driver’s top priority. He or she needs to follow all traffic and road signs. This includes following the speed limit, stopping when required, yielding as needed, and obeying all traffic laws.
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Drivers need to ensure they are always focused when driving the school bus. This can be difficult when there are dozens of kids talking behind them. It’s key for drivers to be able to block out the noise and keep his or her eyes on the road. This also means cell phones and any other distractions should be avoided while operating the vehicle.
Give Yourself Plenty of Room to Stop
School buses are large, and therefore require more room to come to a complete stop than your personal vehicle. Make sure you give yourself plenty of space between other vehicles, pedestrians and other obstacles when coming to a stop. Practice driving and stopping before beginning your route to ensure you have plenty of time to get used to the tendencies required to operate the vehicle.
Make Sure all Kids Are Off the Bus
Unfortunately, occasionally kids remain on the bus after a driver’s route is completed. To ensure the safety of each child and that he or she gets home safely it’s important for bus drivers to check the bus at the end of each day to ensure all students are off the bus.
To learn how RTA Fleet Management Software can help your school bus fleet operation, contact us today to schedule a demo.