School Transportation Safety: 5 Crucial Tips for Driver Training

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shutterstock_85419652When it comes to providing school bus driver training, the key to success is going beyond the basics. Of course, a bus driver must know how to safely maneuver a bus, but the job of a school bus driver is filled with complexities that must be prepared for. Here are five crucial tips for driver training to increase school transportation and student safety.

1. Encourage Emergency Preparedness

Every school bus driver needs to know what your district’s emergency protocols entail. From evacuations to accidents, detailed emergency instructions should be provided for each driver and these should be reviewed often.

2. Review the Rules of the Road

Every district has their own set of driver guidelines. Likewise, every city, county or municipality has its own set of traffic laws. Bus driver training should include information on local laws and ordinances that could affect the responsibilities of each bus driver.

3. Teach Student Management Techniques

Student behavior can greatly impact a driver’s ability to operate a bus safely. Drivers should be educated about the different ways to diffuse problem situations and encourage positive student interaction. Drivers should also know how to report any incidents to district officials and supervisors.

4. Promote Proper Loading and Unloading Practices

Safety is the number one priority for any school bus driver. Drivers should have a clear understanding of how to get students on and off the bus safely while following all district regulations. This can prove especially important for drivers with special needs students in their care, who may need additional training and support.  Driver focus is critical to ensure student safety.

5. Ensure that Drivers Know their Routes

In order to maximize efficiency and ensure that students arrive on time each day, it is important for drivers to know the ins and outs of their routes. Fortunately, today’s routing software allows routes to be coordinated, keeping multiple safety factors in mind.

Driver training should be an ongoing process. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers multiple training guides and tip sheets that can be used during training sessions.

When you are ready to learn more about software tools that can help with school transportation safety, contact the team at BusBoss. We have several options that can help you manage your school bus fleet effectively and inexpensively.

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What do you think? Are there other important areas of driver training that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!