School Bus Driver Safety – How Technology Can Play a Role
Wednesday January 16, 2019
School bus drivers are given the huge responsibility of transporting the children to and from the school safely. Driving a school bus is a very serious job and often thankless. The driver is exposed to many an experience on and off the bus and their safety is of utmost importance.
Nowadays, the school fleets comes fitted with a number of technological aids and this helps them to stay safe as well as do their jobs to the best of their abilities. We review below a list of technologies and gadgets that help them in more than one way.
Read Also: 10 School Bus Safety Tips for Drivers
1: Digital Cameras
Safety enforcement is always a tough job. During most of the trips, on-bus behaviour of the students is a major distraction for the driver. Most drivers trim this problem by assigning seats to the students.
Digital cameras that are installed in modern school fleets help the driver to constantly monitor the situation inside the bus while simultaneously maintaining a watchful eye on the road.
The cameras are also endowed with the capability to record both audio and video of the happenings inside the bus. This spares the driver from having to turn back to find out what exactly happened.
These cameras are also equipped to capture the licence plate details of vehicles that pass close by the bus when it halts.
2: Bus Tracking Systems
Bus tracking systems provide the much-needed transparency that is otherwise required of the bus drivers in reporting where the bus is located at that point in time.
These systems not only work to notify parents and school authorities of the current location of the bus, but they also act to restrict harsh driving behaviours.
Parents monitor both unscheduled bus routes/ bus stops that the drivers may take and also monitor the speed of the bus. This aspect keeps the children and the drivers safe.
Bus tracking apps help to keep away distress calls from the parents that would otherwise be a distraction for the driver. The school bus tracking app helps to provide real-time data as regards approach time of a bus near the scheduled bus stop.
It also helps the driver to do his work with the concentration required to get his wards to the bus stops at the scheduled times.
3: Mirror Grid Systems
The latest school fleets come fixed with a grid of mirrors. This 7-mirror system helps the drivers to have a wide-angle view of the surroundings of the bus.
The electric grids that are present behind the mirrors help the drivers during the cold winters. The heat generated by the grid removes the fog and snow particles that get lodged on the mirror during the winters. It helps to enhance the driver’s surrounding vision.
4: Driver-controlled Bus Doors
The doors of today’s school buses can be controlled by the bus drivers with the touch of a button. The driver’s control in the opening and closing the school bus doors are helpful in more ways than one.
Firstly, the absence of manual operations keeps away unnatural twists and turns of the body and the problems arising thereof. Shoulder pain, arm injuries, and fatigue can be completely avoided. The annual door swings are nil.
5: Air-cushioned Driver Seats
The latest school fleets come with built in driver seats that are kept up with the help of air pressure. This keeps the seat at a comfortable position for the driver and provides enhanced lumbar support that leads to fewer back problems for the drivers in the long run.
6: Smaller Bus Engines
As a direct consequence of miniaturization that is taking place in all fields, bus engines are now smaller in size. The smaller size of the engine means a smaller hood. This improves the field of vision of the driver and enables him to see more of the surroundings.
7: Computerized Diagnostic Tools
Computerized diagnostic tools that inform the driver well in advance about the upcoming maintenance jobs of the vehicle are a boon to the drivers.
Wear-out of tires, replacement of non-working indicator lights, and other maintenance jobs, if informed to the driver in advance helps them to keep the children and their job safe.
Other issues that can give the drivers a feeling of preparedness include indications about transmission problems, oil tanks and their malfunction, exhaust systems’ alarms, etc.
8: Wi-Fi Connectivity
Wi-Fi connectivity in the bus can keep children engaged with the Internet and allow them to complete their lessons, homework or indulge in other intellectually gainful activities.
This keeps them from engaging in unruly behaviour which can distract the drivers and keep them from performing their duties.
Installation of sensors in wireless devices will inform the drivers about the current status of brakes and emergency door systems. This prevents impending disasters.
Though skilled and careful driving is still the best preventative method to keep the kids safe during their ride on the school bus, technological aids, in the recent times have helped the drivers prevent many an accident.
Therefore it is important to install these technological gadgets and systems to make the school bus ride much safer than before.