Tips for Managing the Unique Risks of School Bus Drivers
The job of school bus drivers and contractors involves considerable liability and unique exposures that are not necessarily encountered by commercial bus drivers. School bus drivers have to not only navigate the common risks of being on the road, such as distracted or aggressive drivers, congested traffic, and poor weather conditions, but also be accountable for the safety of the school children they’re carrying.
In most cases, it is the school employing the driver or contractor that carries the insurance policy for both the vehicle and the driver. Taking measures to promote safety and responsible road usage among the drivers/contractors can lead to cheaper rates.
Here are a few tips to reduce the risks of school bus drivers and lower insurance rates:
Keep a good driving record
Insurers typically take several measures to reduce the risk, such as driver screening and driver training. Although contractors are qualified for the job, they should try to maintain a good driving record, with no citations, in order to attract good discounts on insurance products. A good driving record means avoiding:
- Speeding tickets
- Traffic violations
- Reckless operation
- DUI/OVI offenses
Generally, all insurance policies reward a clean driving record by reducing the insurance rates and granting cash back bonuses.
Know the school bus laws for safe driving
To reduce the risk of being cited for a traffic offense when driving a school bus, you should try to implement as many of the state laws as possible. These include:
- Maintaining a distance of 20 feet from other vehicles when stopping
- Being attentive to what the children are doing before setting off or when stopping
- Driving cautiously while watching for other road dangers
Many school bus contractor programs require their drivers to do extensive training on the road and at their facilities, so they can practice their routes and know where all the stops are. Some also offer multiple risk management services, such as online driver safety training program to help manage distracted driving.
These measures, in addition to monitoring their driving ability in real-time, help to keep unsafe drivers off the road, improve road safety, and reduce school bus insurance driver costs. Please contact your insurance broker for help finding the best and most cost effective quote for your situation.