You may think that driving a vehicle as big as a school bus automatically guarantees your safety. However, if you observe the news regularly, you know that not only do accidents occur that involve school buses but they are also very traumatic and often fatal when they do occur. Drivers may be required to take training to drive a commercial type vehicle, but school bus defensive driving is necessary to make them safer drivers.
School Bus Defensive Driving Saves Children's Lives
A school bus carries the most precious cargo of any other vehicle. Our children must rely on these vehicles to get them to and from school. For some sports team members or those of the band, trips to games may mean riding the school bus for hours at a time. Field trips are also taken in them frequently. The more time that is spent carrying students on a school bus, the greater the odds for an accident.
School bus defensive driving means more than knowing when to put the stop sign out to let children get on or off the bus. It means paying attention to other traffic. A driver should never assume that they have the right of way just because of the type of vehicle they are driving. If you go through an intersection where a car is approaching from another direction, don't assume the car will stop. Slow down until the vehicle has stopped or nearly stopped so you can be sure of their intentions. If they fail to stop as they should, you will be traveling at a slow rate of speed so you can stop in time for the vehicle to continue without your hitting it.
This is the whole purpose of school bus defensive driving. Not only are you responsible for preventing accidents with your vehicle, but you also take responsibility for other driver's mistakes by correcting them before they lead to tragedy.
School bus drivers are taught the basics about picking up and letting off and using their stop sign to signal other drivers. They can't rely on the signs to do the trick every time. You never know when an oncoming car may be driven by an intoxicated driver. Although most buses try to pick up and drop off on the same side of the road they are driving on, there are occasions where children must cross the road. In these cases, the bus driver should tell the students when to cross, regardless of the student's age, and they should only cross when there is no vehicle moving in sight in either direction. School bus defensive driving takes place while moving and while sitting still.
School Bus Defensive Driving - When Seat Belts Can't Help
Some of the newer models of school buses have seat belts in them and this will help greatly in reducing injuries when accidents occur. The majority of school buses don't have seat belts, so children are at greater risk. The school bus driver should make sure that students are seated at all times when the buses are moving. Just having to hit your breaks suddenly can lead to the serious injury of a child in the aisle.
School bus defensive driving may be required before you can be employed as a school bus driver. If so, take comfort in knowing you may be taking steps to save children's lives.
All school bus drivers Need to undertake a school bus defensive driving course. We have more information and resources available for you on defensive driving .