Bus Safety Program. Winter Driving. T hink S afety F irst N ot S peed F irst. Children are our most important resource. SAFETY. Safety Training Presentation. WINTER DRIVING. Mustafa Abdullah Safety & Training Instructor. Adverse Weather Conditions. TOPICS of DISCUSSION.
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Mustafa Abdullah Safety & Training Instructor
TOPICS of DISCUSSION
Braking On Slippery Roads
Driving in Rain
Driving on Ice
Driving in Snow
Winter Driving Tips
Regardless of the weather condition, there are certain things you should always do before you head out on your route
Plan for the unexpected.
a. Don’t get blasé about driving a school bus
b. You should always anticipate that, despite your best
preparations, something could go wrong.
c. Remember that you aren’t in your own car, a school bus handles and responds very differently than a car.
d. You have to apply different driving rules when you are in a school bus
Here are two more reminders that apply to all adverse weather conditions
1. When you are in a difficult driving situation, let your students know.
a. Tell them you need their cooperation.
b. Ask them to be quite and to behave.
2. Remind your students to stand further back from the road when waiting for the bus.
There are some things you should know about regardless of the type of adverse weather condition you are driving in.
What are the right clothes to wear?
What is the correct way to slow down when driving a school bus?
When do I use the strobe light if my bus has one?
The way you dress can affect the operation of your bus.
Wear layered clothing instead of a big bulky coat. The layers can be removed and reapplied as the temperature fluctuates. A bulky coat can restrict movement.
Your hat is critical, it shouldn’t cover your ears. This enhances your ability to hear over the noise of fans, heaters, defrosters etc. It should have a visor, this shades your eyes from sun glare. A dark visor is best.
Sunglasses are important year round. The glare off of snow can be blinding.
Wear gloves with leather or suede palms, wool gloves get slippery when wet.
Wear insulated socks and winter shoes, cold feet feel numb and this can affect foot movement and how you drive the bus. Avoid heavy boots, they are harder to move fast from gas to brake pedal and in close quarters can affect foot movement. Always wear non-slip soled shoes.
Keep extra clothing in the bus in case the temperature falls, or your clothing gets wet.
There are several things you should know About the breaking system on your bus.
First determine whether you have ABS or non-ABS brakes on your bus, these two types of systems perform very differently on slippery surfaces.
Non-ABS braking system: press and release the brake pedal many times, this is referred to as “pumping”. If you simply press and hold the brake pedal, the brakes will lock-up and you will be unable to steer the vehicle. Depending on the speed you are traveling, you may well go into a skid.
ABS braking systems use wheel speed sensors to identify when a wheel is locking. If the system senses that a wheel is locking, it automatically applies and releases the brakes several times per second to prevent lockup. Because of the sensors you should NOT pump ABS system brakes, you simply apply steady and continuous pressure. With ABS, no matter how hard the pedal is pressed, each wheel is prevented from locking up. This prevents skidding (and allows the driver to steer while stopping on slippery surfaces). However, this does not create a situation of “steering as usual”. In snow or ice, your steering will still be impaired. You will still need to allow a greater following distance with ABS brakes.
When braking on a downgrade you must take into consideration the affect of brake fade. Brake fade is a temporary condition caused by high temperatures generated by repeated or continuous “hard braking”.
What should you do to avoid brake fade while you are slowing
down? First, gear down before you get to an incline or situation
where you need to stop. Use your transmission to slow the bus
down. Engine compression through your transmission is the first
source of braking power.
Descend a long steep grade in a lower
gear than you would use to climb the hill. If the bus is loaded use an even lower gear.
What are some of the adverse driving situations that a school bus driver might encounter on their route?
Anticipate problems in the first few minutes after it starts raining or in a heavy downpour.
The first 10 minutes after the rain begins are the most dangerous. The rain mixes with oil from motor vehicles and oil from new asphalt. The result is a slippery roadway. After a while, the rain washes off the oil and the slippery conditions disappear.
If it rains heavily, there can be moving water on the roadway, even after it stops raining. This creates a situation where hydroplaning is possible. When your school bus hydroplanes, the tires lose contact with the road and have little or no traction. You may not be able to steer or to brake. Hydroplaning can happen at speeds as low as 30 mph if there is a lot of water.
In severe rain a school bus driver should reduce his or her speed accordingly. Because of its weight a school bus will seldom hydroplane. One reason it will hydroplane is if it is going too fast.
You may have to drag the brakes slightly for a short distance to dry them out and to restore normal braking.
Remind students to stay off the snow banks when waiting for the school bus. Turns may be more difficult when snow banks limit visibility.
Strong winds affect the handling of the school bus. They make it hard to steer the school bus. They make it hard to keep the school bus on the road or within a travel lane on the road.
The side of a school bus acts like a sail on a sailboat. Strong winds can push the school bus sideways. They can even move the school bus off the road or, in extreme conditions, tip it over.
Expect strong winds in rainstorms, dust storms, blizzards, and as a cold front passes.
Melted water that has frozen: Either rain that has frozen after a quick cold turn or snow or ice that has thawed and refrozen.
Autumn leaves drift by the window and right into the street. Driving in the fall presents its own colorful set of problems. Decreasing daylight and wet leaves create challenges for the unsuspecting driver. Patches of fallen leaves can be just as treacherous as patches of ice. Fallen leaves retain large amounts of water and can create a slippery surface. Drive slowly through them and avoid hard or panic braking.Fall brings the first frost. Be aware of slippery conditions that occur with frost. At freezing or near freezing temperatures, the moisture on bridges and overpasses will become ice much more quickly than the approach roadway. The roadways hold heat and the bridges do not; you can go from wet roadway to ice in just a fraction of a second.
Frost, sunshine, wet leaves on the road, school buses, and kids horsing around on the way to school can be a disaster if they come together at the wrong time. Please recognize the hazard and drive accordingly. Fall weather can present challenges to drivers. Rain, fog, sleet and wet snow require full driver attention. Remember the "two-second rule" when following other drivers, and in severe weather increase your following distance. If you are being tailgated, let the other driver pass. As you know, the sun rises later and sets earlier as fall approaches. Your commute to and from work may find you driving directly into the sun. Fall driving in New Jersey can be beautiful but glare can also make it dangerous. Be sure your windows are clean, inside and out, and have sunglasses handy.
The decreasing daylight may also mean that some drivers will be driving in twilight or dark conditions. A driver's vision, including depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision, is compromised in darkened conditions . The human body becomes more relaxed and less alert in the dark, becoming more easily lulled and drowsy. Prepare your eyes for night driving. When you step out of a brightly lit building into a darkened environment it takes anywhere between two and five minutes for your eyes to begin adjusting to the change in light conditions and it takes a full 30 minutes to fully adjust. Allow your eyes that little extra time to adjust before driving into the dark.
Winter driving skills are used only a few months each year, so it is important to remind drivers to prepare for snow and ice on the roadways.
The best advice for winter driving is simply to slow down and avoid unnecessary risks.
During winter weather, increased attention to safe driving techniques is critical. On ice or snow-covered roads, be sure to accelerate slowly to prevent traction loss. Passing lanes are not typically maintained as well as driving lanes during bad weather, so it is important to pass with care.
Ice on the roads may not always be visible, and the smallest patch can pose a big problem. If your vehicle begins to skid, resist the temptation to hit the brakes. Instead, take your foot off the gas pedal and steer into the direction of the skid.
A skid can result in a complete loss of vehicle control, which could lead to an injury-causing crash. Skids are not always preventable, so it is as important as ever to always wear your safety belt