<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=737313050390762&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

What’s Included in an Effective Bus Driver Training Program?


If you own a fleet of transit buses or motorcoaches, you’re legally obligated to train them. However, that is NOT the main reason to train your bus operators. The main reason you should train them is because accidents and injuries are expensive, time-consuming, and can put you out of business.

If you want to learn how to reduce your cost of loss and protect your operators, keep reading about what’s included in an effective bus driver safety training program.New call-to-action

Why Is Bus Driver Training Important?

As we mentioned, you’re legally required to offer training, but that’s not why it’s important. You should train your transit and motorcoach operators so you can reduce your accidents and cost of loss.

The average cost of a non-fatal bus accident is $195,258. A bus accident with an injury, or worse yet – a fatality – can be well over a million dollars. This gigantic cost of loss comes from:

  • Fines
  • Lawsuits
  • Lost time
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Increased insurance premiums

Bus accidents are so expensive because you’re transporting people, not goods. Each bus you put out on the road is like a financial time bomb. Without proper safety and defensive driving training, that bomb is just waiting to go off.

Worse yet, these accidents are common. On average, there are over 164 bus crashes per day in the United States. Anywhere from 7 to 12 of those will involve a fatality.

The good news is, you can protect your operators and entire company from the risk of accidents. If you implement an effective bus driver training program, you can:

  • Reduce your accidents or risk of accident by 20% or more
  • Save literally millions of dollars annually from reduced cost of loss
  • Develop a fleet of engaged, professional bus operators
  • Improve your overall efficiency
  • Save lives

What Does an Effective Bus Driver Training Program Have?

In our 30 years of existence, we’ve developed new operator training for dozens of industry leaders in the passenger transportation industry. Our clients have benefited from accident and injury reductions anywhere from 25 to 75 percent. All of our programs had these three features:

  • Online, self-directed learning
  • Behind-the-wheel training
  • Monthly safety meetings on important topics

Online Safety Training For Bus Operators

Online, self-directed learning is the cornerstone of any effective bus operator safety training program.

Effective online training features video-based courses that teach essential principles, concepts, and procedures about safe, defensive driving. They can cover topics such as following distance, defensive driving principles, safely navigating intersections, changing lanes, and personal injury prevention tactics.

The benefit of investing in online safety training is that your operators can access it from any device with an internet connection. This makes you more efficient and saves you time and money spent in the classroom.

If you currently have nothing, this is where we always recommend people to start. We have an off-the-shelf bus driver training program called The Bus Safety Course. It features over 40 professionally-produced video-based lessons and includes access to a learning management system.

With the Bus Safety Course, you can:

  • Access hours and hours of highly effective safety training
  • Implement safety training all across your company with just a few clicks
  • Track, run reports, and store records of training progress
  • Guarantee at least a 20% reduction of accidents or exposure to accidents

Try the Bus Safety Course for Free for 14 Days! 

Behind-The-Wheel Training

The best place to start is with online, self-directed training, but we highly recommend you include behind-the-wheel training as well.

Driving is a skill. Online learning teaches core concepts and principles that influence bus operators to make safe decisions, but you can’t truly make safe drivers without hands-on training.

Effective behind-the-wheel training includes:

  • Closed-course exercises like judgment stops and pre-trip inspections
  • On-the-road training with an experienced driving instructor
  • Performance standards that explain desired outcomes for your trainees

If you are training people to receive their CDL, you’ll need to implement driver training that complies with ELDT. We have a program for CDL B that goes above and beyond the government’s regulations. Contact us here to learn more.

Monthly Safety Meetings

If you want safe, defensive drivers, you need to implement new-hire training. However, on its own, new-hiring training isn’t enough.

Think of it this way: how much do you remember from high school? Can you solve a quadratic equation? Do you remember the themes of The Great Gatsby? Do you remember the steps of the scientific method?

If you don’t use it, you lose it. And it works the same way with safety and defensive driving training.

We highly recommend you implement monthly safety meetings focused on a loss-leading indicator. In other words, focus your training on the unsafe behaviors that lead to your most common and costly accidents.

Each month should focus on one topic, such as maintaining a safe following distance or performing safe turns. In the meeting, you can use presentations, videos, questions, and exams to engage and educate your drivers.

In our experience of creating custom programs like these for our clients, they had accident reductions of 30 to 40% on the topic covered.

Don’t Wait Until Your Next Accident

Every operator out on the road is a potential loss of $195,258 or more. Worse yet, someone could lose their life. Don’t wait until that happens. Get started with online safety training today to reduce accidents, injuries, and cost of loss – and maybe save a life.

New call-to-action



Related Articles