WHAT THE SCHOOL BUS DRIVER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SNOW
- Types of snowy conditions
- Snow flurries: Intermittent snowfall that may reduce visibility.
- Snow showers: Intermittent snowfall but heavier than flurries.
- Snow squalls: Brief, intense snowfall with gusty winds.
- Normal snowfall: Steady falling of snow.
- Lake effect snow: Snow that falls downwind of the Great Lakes when a cold wind blows over the warmer water surface.
- Heavy snow: 4 to 6 inches in 12 hours or 6 inches or more in 24 hours.
- Blowing and drifting snow: Strong winds and poor visibility for a lengthy period of time.
- Blizzard: Steady snowfall with blowing snow and sustained winds of 35 mph or higher.
- Anticipate additional problems driving in snow:
- As the snow deepens
- When the snow mixes with wind
- When the snow falls on top of previous snow or ice
- When temperatures are near freezing
HOW THE SCHOOL BUS DRIVER SHOULD RESPOND TO SNOW
- Before you drive
- Check the weather report.
- Call or talk to parents or spotters, other drivers, and Dispatch. Listen to the bus radio.
- Check the roads yourself.
- Check that your windshield wipers are working properly. If not, replace them.
- Check that you have plenty of washer fluid.
- Check that window defrosters are working properly.
- On your route
- Slow down gradually.
- Avoid aggressive braking or steering.
- Turn on headlights, strobe lights, 4-way flashers.
- Stop, get out, and check the road surface yourself.
- Increase following distance.
- Give others a lane.
- Practice defensive driving.
- Anticipate limited visibility. Watch snow banks along the side of the road. Remind students to stay off the snow banks when waiting for the school bus. Turns may be more difficult when snow banks limit visibility.
- Beware of snow drifts. Conventional buses may be able to go through a fairly good sized snow drift. A transit-style Type D bus may not be able to go through drifts. Watch for hazards in the snow drift (solid objects or previously plowed and now frozen snow).
- You may need to periodically get out and scrape the windshields and lights and mirrors.
LOCAL POLICY AND PROCEDURES