In-Service Safety: Adapting to Inclement Weather Conditions

School Bus and Student Transportation Edition for Inclement Weather Conditions

Having to drive a school bus can be rewarding. It is an ideal position for anyone who likes kids and wants a steady, reliable, and rewarding career. However, it also comes with the need to drive in the snow, sleet, and other inclement weather conditions.

You have to do this safely. Not only because you are on the bus, but because you are carrying the lives of many school children. Their parents trust in you to get them back and forth to and from school and home safely.

Knowing and having the training to safely drive in these conditions when you’re a school bus driver is important. You want to protect everyone’s lives while on the roads, regardless of the conditions.

Here is some information to use when adapting to inclement weather as a school bus and student transportation professional offered from NHTSA.

Anticipating Adverse Weather Conditions

Being able to anticipate and know that these weather conditions are going to end up an issue is important. You want to prepare, while also ensuring that the routes you take are going to be cleared and safe enough for your bus to go through.

It has been shown that planning ahead has been shown to reduce the number of accidents that happen during adverse weather conditions.

School Systems Offering Better Driving Preparation

Those who are hired for the career of bus driver have some sort of driving skills under their belt. In addition to the current knowledge, they have of driving is enriched with further training that is offered through the school districts that hire them.

Depending on the district, you might find that they are called something different or they offer it there at the district or outsource it. Regardless, as a school bus driver, having this additional inclement weather knowledge and training is essential for providing the best, and safest transport for all students.

Winter Tips for Students, Parents, and Other Drivers

These tips can help you keep safe while on the road when the weather is bad. Make sure to keep them in mind depending on which area you fall into for the tips offered.

Bus Drivers

  • Be prepared for the weather.
  • Slow and steady is what you should always make sure to do, especially when the weather is bad.
  • Be alert for children who you may not see because of the weather conditions. This is especially true for those standing at a bus stop where visibility is low.
  • Drive for the conditions. If it is icy and slippery, slow down.
  • Make sure to follow the law and watch for the signs that come up on your route.
  • Always make sure that your bus is prepared for the oncoming bad weather with the right updates and maintenance.


Other Drivers

  • WATCH for school busses when the weather is (and even when it isn’t) bad.
  • Slow down and give yourself time. This is not a race, and you want to be safe.
  • Drive for the conditions, just like above. If the roads are not ideal, then slow down.
  • ALWAYS stop for school busses that are stopped and have their sign out – it is the law!


Students & Parents

  • Don’t rush to the bus stop and remain within sight. You want the bus driver and other drivers to be able to see you while you wait.
  • Be patient when it comes to waiting for the bus, even if it is cold. They are taking their time to reduce the chances of an accident.
  • Bundle up during the wait. You might have a bit of time to wait for the bus, you should be warm and comfortable.
  • Make sure to hold onto the railing when getting onto the bus. The stairs are wet and can become slippery.


Those drivers who are transporting students are constantly having to adapt to the weather conditions outside. Due to this, they are one of the most important aspects of any school district and system. They continue to gain knowledge to keep students safe while ensuring that the students get there on time to learn!

Thank a bus driver today and make sure to watch for those slow, stop, and school signs!


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