7 Proven Ways In-Bus GPS Systems Promote Safer Drivers
published on April 29, 2014 by Sonia Mastros
During the course of a school day, your students are probably in more danger during their daily busing than at any other time. Our road system is naturally hazardous. Anything a school district can do to reduce dangers to their students will pay off in both money and lives saved.
In-bus Global Positioning Systems are one of the most proven ways of making your buses and your bus drivers safer. That translates directly into ongoing benefits to your school.
Seven Ways GPS Systems Create Safer School Buses
I. Second-by-Second Situational Awareness
The most obvious -and most generally useful- benefit to in-bus GPS systems is oversight they bring. Even with multiple buses on different routes, the central map in your office will consistently have their exact locations. In most cases, the tracking is updated every couple seconds.
That means there's never a need to be out of contact with your drivers, or to merely trust that they're following the routes provided. You'll know, at all times, exactly where your buses are.
II. Quick And Easy Rerouting Around Problems
Buses, of course, have to share the road with plenty of other cars. While we generally recommend routing around high-use streets to begin with, sometimes a bus is going to get stuck in traffic.
In this case, the in-bus GPS system provides the exact same benefit as in private cars - the unit can send the bus to its next stop via an alternate route, without hassle.
III. Always Up-To-Date Stop Points
No school's bus route mapping is ever truly "locked in." Student transfers in and out mean that your routes are rarely stable for long. Other students may be in situations where they are dropped off at different addresses on different days.
GPS systems take this burden off your drivers. They don't need to keep track of these changes on a day-to-day basis - the GPS takes care of it for them!
IV. Bus Data-Gathering Eases Maintenance
GPS units aren't simply for tracking physical location - they tie directly into your bus' internal computer systems, and capture a wealth of information about bus performance. They can track fuel consumption, stopping distance, spark plug timing, tire pressure, and more.
When tracked statistically, this quickly paints a robust picture of the "health" of each bus. Further, early warning signs of trouble -such as reduced gas mileage- can be spotted this way, when they might be too small to be spotted by human maintenance workers.
Service problems can be caught earlier and fixed cheaply, preventing expensive (or dangerous) breakdowns later.
V. Driver Data Proves Their Driving Skills
The data-gathering of GPS systems covers your drivers as well. Are your drivers following speed limits? Are they properly stopping at all rail crossings? Are they taking dangerous detours? GPS data-tracking answers almost every question you might have about your drivers' actual on-road performance.
If drivers are cutting corners, it can be spotted and remedied quickly. Conversely, good driving can be rewarded, such as bonuses for drivers with the fewest observed traffic violations.
VI. Warnings When A Driver Goes Off-Route
GPS tracking means drivers cannot go offroute, intentionally or not, without both you and them knowing about it. In-cab alerts will warn them, and you'll be notified as well.
If there is a legitimate problem, you can quickly contact them and verify the situation. If it was accidental, they can get back on-route quickly and easily.
VII. Rapid Emergency Dispatch
Sometimes, despite everyone's best efforts, accidents and other on-road emergencies occur. Whether it's a crash involving another driver, a student experiencing a medical crisis, or just a blown tire... sometimes service vehicles must be dispatched ASAP to deal with unexpected issues.
In these cases, the GPS system still has you covered. You'll be alerted to problems sooner, communications are easier to establish, and best of all - the service vehicles will have an exact geolocation for the bus. In situations where time is of the essence, GPS systems can shave several minutes off emergency response.
And if a child is going into anaphylactic shock without an EpiPen handy, those few minutes could save a life.
GPS Units Are A Neverending Insurance Policy
Your students are truly the most precious cargo on our roads, and their continued safety is paramount for any school district.
GPS units provide an affordable and reliable solution for improving bus safety, based on proven technology that's been deployed for decades in everything from jet fighters to cell phones. They can improve operations, and prevent needless problems, virtually every day your buses are on the road.
For more information on the clear financial benefits of school bus GPS systems, just contact Orbit Software for all the information you need.