Proper Training of Bus Drivers

Proper bus driver training is crucial to the safety of bus passengers, other vehicles and their passengers, and bus drivers themselves. Though bus driver training is the responsibility of private companies who employ the drivers, there are certain standards that are regulated by both state and federal governments in order to be licensed to drive this type of vehicle. To complete a course to receive a commercial driver’s license (CDL) a bus driver must pass skills tests covering pre-trip vehicle inspection, basic vehicle control, and an on-road test.

Pre-trip vehicle inspections are important preventative measures that are imperative for avoiding unnecessary accidents or dangerous brake-downs. Drivers should be trained to look for tire problems including damaged or worn tire structures and improperly inflated tires. Tire inspections should also extend to inspecting the wheel of any bus, with specific attention given to the tightness of nuts. Checking for cracked brake drums and pads is crucial before every trip to prevent brake failure. Also, drivers are trained to look for issues in the suspension and steering systems to ensure that they can properly control the motion of their vehicle.

Bus drivers should be trained for basic vehicle control in a number of different situations that are commonly faced and situations that present unique challenges. Drivers should be tested for straight line motion, both forward and backward. This type of test is designed to assure proper control of the vehicle in standard conditions. Drivers should also be tested and trained on their ability to reverse the vehicle in an offset manner as well as parallel parking and backing into an alley. All of these skills are crucial to properly navigating a bus and doing it safely in consideration of those people and objects around them.

Finally, all licensed drivers must be trained and pass an on-road test to ensure their proper training in specific real-life situations. Drivers should be trained in at least thirteen different driving situations and skills. These skills include proper lane change, turns, starts and stops and intersection etiquette. Proper training of bus drivers is important for the safety of hundreds of people everyday.

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