Preparing a Safety Plan for Drivers

Posted: Oct, 5th 2021

As a society, we are more distracted than ever. It is crucial to know the basics of safe driving and use them every time you get behind the wheel. Roads are often congested. Navigating buses and other large vehicles requires training, attention, and patience. Smaller vehicles often do not understand what driving a large vehicle entails regarding turns, lane changes, and stopping! Aside from hiring talented drivers who are experienced and ready to face the challenges driving a large vehicle entail, here are some tips and training that could assist your team with success on the roadways.

Divers should always complete a pre-trip inspection, ensuring that lights are clean all mirrors, including crossover mirrors are correctly adjusted. Knowing the expected weather conditions and new constructions areas are essential steps to take before starting a route. A driver should make sure they know the route and are aware of any changes that have been made for the day—understanding the topography of the route and identifying areas of low visibility. The most important thing a driver should do is ask this question, mm I physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared to operate a bus or truck today?

Once you have started a vehicle and are buckled up, focus 100% of your attention on driving. Avoiding all distractions is a crucial component of safe driving. There should be no multi-tasking or using phones and other electrons devices. Pullover to eat or drink; it will only take very little time. Have all items such as toll fees or passes in an easy-to-reach location.  Make sure all cargo is secure within the vehicle so that items don’t fall onto the floor. Most importantly, don’t drive when you are tired. Build time into your schedule for rest breaks, phone calls, or other business.

Being a defensive driver is a crucial component of roadway safety. Check your mirrors regularly. Be aware of what other drivers around you are doing.  Allow proper distance between you and the driver ahead. Extend that time if the weather is bad.  Be cautious when changing lanes and always use a turn signal. Slow down. Speeding gives a driver less time to react and increases the severity of an accident.

Finally, we have some bus driver-specific tips for keeping kids safe. Keep as many right-side drops as possible to limit children crossing the street. Give proper warning that you are stopping for a pickup or drop-off. Always check that traffic is stopping. Educate the children on your bus to pay attention to your instructions when crossing the road. Make sure kids are away from the bus before pulling out or checking crossover mirrors. Count the kids as they get off the bus and cross to their safe destinations. Avoid all distractions when loading and unloading at stops.

If cars are consistently speeding or not following stop arm regulations, communicate these concerns with your transportation director.  A transportation director could check with local law enforcement to see if they can follow buses with routes that have stops that are run a lot or sit at those spots.  Communication with parents, children, supervisors, and administration is vital to ensure that children’s safety at bus stops is the top priority.