Operating a bus can be a challenging task. Not only are you responsible for maneuvering a vehicle that weighs anywhere between 25,000 lbs. and 48,000 lbs., but you are also responsible for ensuring that you get your passengers to and from their destinations safely. The fact is, being a bus driver requires skill and an understanding of how to drive the vehicle so that you don’t engage in an accident. Some of the most common types of accidents school bus and motor coach buses are involved in occur when the bus is turning or one that is caused by the tail swing of the bus. And according to busride.com, “turns can be dangerous and costly if you don’t take the necessary precautions before and during these maneuvers.”
Although accidents that occur during a turn or ones that are caused by a tail swing are usually minor, these types of incidents also have the potential to be deadly. For instance, when a bus has to make a right turn on a residential roadway but only has limited space to do so, it might result in the rear tire going over someone’s sidewalk or lawn, and there could potentially be an adult or small child standing there. Therefore, to help prevent these types of accidents from occurring with your school bus or motor coach, below are a few techniques you can implement.
What can you do as a bus driver to help prevent a turn or tail swing accident?
- Always know the length and width of the vehicle. Bus Ride states that most school buses have a standard width of 8.5 feet and length of 40-45 feet. Motor coaches have a standard width of 9 feet and length of 45 feet. Be sure you become familiar with these lengths if the bus you drive is the standard size and take note of a buses dimensions if you are assigned to a different vehicle than normal.
- Be aware of your “tail swing,” which is the part of the bus between the rear axle and the rear of the bus. The tail swing can be 10 feet or longer and nearly the same length on a motor coach bus. This length of the bus must be taken into consideration while the bus is in operation and even when parked. How can you do this? Well, Bus Ride suggests that you “make sure your mirrors are properly adjusted so you can be sure that the rear of the bus will adequately clear vehicles, pedestrians, and objects when it begins the turn.” You also want to be sure that your vehicle has the right of way before beginning the turn.
- Something else a bus driver can do to prevent a “tail swing” accident is when making a turn from a single lane into a double lane, always turn into the far lane and make the transition to the desired lane well after the turn.
- Remember to conduct a pre-trip inspection which includes cleaning off the windshield mirrors, and side windows so you can see clearly out of them, adjusting the mirrors properly, and taking note of the dimensions of the vehicle and tail swing.
And in the event you are ever involved in a bus collision in Marion, IN while on duty as a bus driver and aren’t sure whether or not you can pursue a personal injury claim to recover compensation, contact USAttorneys.com. We will connect you with a local bus accident attorney in Marion, Indiana who will provide you with all the information you are seeking.