As the snow turns to slush and the air gradually warms, an unmistakable thought enters the minds of Minnesotans everywhere: Spring is finally here! After our long winter, it’s always such a welcome feeling. It’s time to roll the windows down and bask in the warm air – or stomp in some puddles if you’re a grade-school student!
Of course, those who work in school bus services must also be mindful of the spring weather, but for entirely different reasons than their own enjoyment. Changing weather can affect a driver’s on-the-job performance, both in terms of driving style and passenger management. Working in student transportation services requires constant mindfulness of the outside weather and road conditions. After all, the safety of the precious cargo depends on it!
Springtime Driving Isn’t as Straightforward as It Seems
Whether you work in student transportation services or not, you probably know winter is one of the most dangerous times of the year for drivers. Even experienced drivers can have trouble on roads covered in snow and ice.
When all the snow and ice melt in the spring, a myriad of other driving hazards arise. In other words, just because the ice is clearing up doesn’t mean our employees drive like the roads are completely clear!
In the spring, our drivers must always be prepared to handle the following hazards:
● Slush and wet road conditions. Any driver can tell you an average car doesn’t have the best traction when plowing through a puddle, and this can be doubly so for larger vehicles, such as school buses. As a large vehicle, a school bus can be hard to handle in deep slush, extensive wetness, and the heavy rain that can come with springtime. To compensate, you might notice school bus drivers slowing down and driving a bit more carefully. Be sure to respect bus drivers as you would any cautious driver on the road, as the passengers they carry are many and precious.
● Poor visibility. Heavy rain and fog, which tend to roll in with spring weather, can make it harder to see clearly. Headlights can help improve visibility, but it’s best for drivers to take it slow in these conditions. Our drivers have been known to maintain a larger-than-usual stopping distance and wait for a clear opportunity before pulling out into traffic. Again, be patient – bus drivers are only operating with the best interests of all parties in mind.
● Animals in the road. As the temperature becomes warmer and certain animal species slip out of hibernation, many of them will begin to cross the roads at inconvenient times – as we’re sure many drivers of commercial vehicles and personal vehicles alike have experienced. Those who work in school bus services must be aware that creatures of all sorts may be lurking on the side of the road, especially at dawn and dusk. If you’re stuck behind an unusually slow-moving bus, again, be patient. Maybe the driver sees something you don’t!
At Northstar Bus Lines, we strive to provide the most cheerful and safe transportation services in the Twin Cities metro area. If you’re looking to go down that career path and want to study up for your class B CDL, we offer paid training and excellent benefits. Plus, as a thank you for joining us, we’ll provide you with a substantial sign-on bonus. Once you graduate to full employment, you’ll experience all the great benefits that come with working for a company that cares.
With our top-notch employee training and the warm company atmosphere we promote, Northstar Bus Lines is a perfect fit both as an employer and school bus solution for your district. Give us a call now at 763-425-2542. We serve Maple Grove and the surrounding metro area.