Does Your School Bus Safety Plan Prepare You For An Accident?

student gps tracking, school bus safety, accidents

prepared_for_school_bus_accidentThroughout the many years BusBoss has been bringing school districts transportation management software, we have heard numerous stories about school bus accidents, and these accidents are deeply troubling to us. Just recently, a school bus driver lost control of a bus and crashed into a house in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. Thankfully, the students aged 5-12 were uninjured and escaped the bus with the driver through the rear exit.

While it’s not always possible to prevent accidents, school districts are able to improve school bus safety by being prepared. The best approach is to be proactive rather than reactive. Call parents if their children have been in an accident rather than waiting for parents to find out from their children or through social media.

Emergency Procedures

In the event of an emergency, it is helpful to have step-by-step instructions prepared for various situations. Bus drivers should be trained to handle different emergencies appropriately and know the difference between school bus safety procedures when the bus is on fire versus when the bus is in a ditch on the side of the road.

Knowing the location of the closest hospital is also a smart safety measure in case a student becomes injured. Administrators could assign every location within their school district to a zone that designates the nearest hospital(s) or medical facility. If an accident occurs, the school district, parents and drivers should immediately know which hospital the students were taken to.

For school districts that want to improve their school bus safety further, it is advisable to create and follow a safety checklist. The list below is an example of safety measures your school district might include on your emergency procedure checklist:

  • Know which students are still on the bus
  • Ensure access to student guardian information
  • Obtain updated student medical information
  • Alter bus routes for other vehicles to pick up students
  • Create an emergency plan that details how to get students to the hospital
  • In the event of an emergency, call 911, call the school principal and do basic first aid

School transportation software provides bus drivers with the information they need from this checklist, such as student guardian and student medical information. Bus routing software is also able to reroute other buses immediately in order to pick up stranded students after an accident. Student GPS tracking software would provide an exact list of the students that boarded the bus, were dropped off, and those that still remain on the bus.

Student Safety And Liability

In any fleet management program, student safety is the first priority. However, school districts should cover liability issues thoroughly so they are not sued if an accident occurs. Ask yourself whether your transportation program has the required testing, criminal background checks and licenses for each driver.

If these requirements were completed many years ago, it may be time for an update. Similarly, if a school bus driver has made a habit of speeding and being pulled over by police since you last completed driver testing, your school district is likely to be sued if there is an accident.

Route management systems help your school district improve school bus safety drastically. By storing important documents accessible to school bus drivers, rerouting buses and tracking the location of each bus and student in real time, school transportation software prepares school districts for various emergency situations.

If you have questions about how bus routing software may benefit your school district, speaking with an industry professional is a beneficial first step towards designing more efficient bus routes while improving student safety.

Ready to learn more about fleet management software and how to ensure school bus safety? Download the free tip sheet and learn how to schedule safer, more efficient routes.

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