Buses are susceptible to mechanical issues and road hazards that may unexpectedly derail their commute like any other vehicle. Even if everything checks out during your pre-inspection and you follow safe driving practices perfectly, breakdowns will likely be an inevitable part of your bus driving career.
If you’re driving the bus, it’s your responsibility to be prepared if a breakdown occurs. If you’re managing a fleet, you must ensure your team is ready in case of mechanical failure.
Follow these steps to ensure you and your passengers remain safe and your bus can get back on the road as quickly as possible!
Get the Bus to Safety
Your first course of action as soon as your bus starts to malfunction should be to pull over to avoid an accident. Slowly make your way to the side of the road (remember—most of your passengers probably aren’t wearing seatbelts), getting as close to the edge as possible. Ideally, you’ll land on a flat, paved surface, but at the very least, you should look for a spot you know you can pull out of.
As frustrated or alarmed as you may feel, remember that your passengers will look to you for guidance. Don’t incite fear or chaos by acting panicked or angry. You need to maintain control of the situation and a cool head to evaluate your circumstances and properly determine the appropriate next steps.
Communicate with Your Passengers
Once you’ve taken your bus safely off the road, your first concern should be the safety of your passengers. Ask if everybody is okay, and be prepared to address any medical emergencies by calling 911 promptly. If nobody’s hurt, your next step is to let passengers know what’s happening. Keep them informed throughout the process and instruct them on where to go and what to do next.
Inspect Your Bus
Once you have addressed your passengers and ensured they are safe, you should try to identify the problem that your bus is facing. If you are confident that you can safely and easily fix the issue on your own, follow the necessary procedures to get your bus back on the road. However, if you cannot make the repairs yourself and need to wait for help, look for any hazards, such as fire, smoke, or leaking, that could harm you and your passengers. In such a situation, it is important to prioritize the safety of your passengers and get them to a safe location until help arrives.
Ensure Your Bus Is Visible
If you’ll have to wait for backup, ensure your bus is highly visible to oncoming traffic and help when it arrives. Use road flares, cones, and reflectors, and put your hazards on. Once you’ve done this, you should survey your surroundings and identify nearby buildings that might be helpful during your wait, such as a service station, restroom, restaurant, etc.
Notify Proper Channels and Wait for Help
Once you’re certain of the safety of your passengers and surroundings, you should inform your office or motor pool of the situation as soon as possible. The sooner you alert for help, the faster the response will be. Identify your location and surroundings clearly and ask for another bus to be dispatched for passengers if the issue seems complicated. Stay with your vehicle until help arrives.
One of our top concerns at Las Vegas Bus Sales is the quality of our vehicles. Every one of our new and used buses is inspected with high standards for both safety and condition. You can trust our knowledgeable team of experts to help you find the optimal vehicle to meet your needs for the best value.