DEFENSIVE DRIVING

SEEING

To be a safe driver, the driver must know what is taking place around the
vehicle. In a large vehicle like a school bus, this is accomplished by proper
mirror use. You should check the side mirrors, both left and right, regularly
and often, approximately every 5 to 8 seconds. Inadequate surveillance is a
major cause of accidents.
Look Far Enough Ahead
• Scan far enough ahead to be able to react safely to situations
• Look ahead along your intended path of travel about 12 to 15 seconds
• At lower speeds, this is about one city block
• At highway speeds, this is about one quarter of a mile
• When following a large vehicle, allow additional space so you may have
a greater range of sight

Get the Big Picture

• Eyes should be constantly on the move to obtain the “big picture” by
using all mirrors
• Look ahead; use left side, right side, and student management mirrors
every 5-8 seconds to check traffic
• Shift your attention back and forth, near and far.

Traffic

• Look for vehicles coming onto the highway, into your lane, or turning
• Watch for brake lights from slowing vehicles
• See far enough ahead to enable you to adjust your speed or change
lanes if necessary, to avoid a problem
It is important to know what is going on behind and to the sides of your
vehicle. There are “blind spots” that your mirrors cannot show you. Doing
mirror checks regularly and often, (approximately every 5 to 8 seconds) will
let you know where other vehicles are around you, and when they move into
your blind spots. Following these rules will eliminate surprises.

Hills and Curves

• Look for hills, curves, or anything that may make slowing or changing
lanes necessary
• When driving uphill in a school bus, watch for traffic in all directions,
paying particular attention to the sides and rear of the vehicle
• Do mirror checks often and use 4-way hazard lights if traveling under
25 mph
• Activate your hazard lights if the speed of your vehicle impedes the
normal flow of traffic
• When going around a curve, check your mirrors to be sure the rear of
the vehicle is tracking correctly in your lane and not encroaching into
the other lane.

Traffic Signals and Signs

• Pay attention to traffic signals and signs
• If a light has been green for a long time (stale green), it will probably
change before you get there; start slowing down and be ready to stop
• Crosswalk signal with a flashing hand is an indication the light is about to
change
• Traffic signs may alert you to road conditions indicating the need to
change speed or lanes

Lane Changes, Turns, Merging, and Tight Maneuvers
• Scan mirrors thoroughly before changing speed or direction
• A minimum of 6 mirror checks should be performed during lane
changes, turns, merges and tight maneuvers
• Check both left and right outside mirrors prior to, during, and at the
completion of the maneuver.

Road safety is a message of love and only those who have true love will share it with you.

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