Back to Main
In-Service Safety Series
In-Service Safety Series
Back   Next


I. Introduction

  1. Welcome to “Driving Under Adverse Weather Conditions”

  2. What do you think of when I say “adverse weather conditions”?

    [Conduct discussion.]

  3. One thing needs to be clear from the start

    1. Your first preference is always to avoid an adverse weather situation

    2. What we will be talking about today is what to do if you haven't been able to avoid it

    3. We will be talking about those situations where YOU have to decide what to do

  4. The purpose of this module is to review the process for making decisions in a variety of weather conditions

  5. For this module, adverse weather has been lumped into 5 kinds of conditions

    1. Slippery roads

    2. Limited visibility

    3. Vehicle control problems

    4. Extreme temperatures

    5. Catastrophic conditions

  6. For each condition we will talk about

    1. What causes the condition

    2. What you should know about the condition

    3. How to handle the condition

  7. For example, we will talk about what makes a road slippery, how ice is different from mud, and what you need to do to handle each one

  8. Regardless of the weather condition, there are certain things you should always do before you head out on your route

    1. Conduct a CDL pre-trip inspection; make sure all your equipment is in good working order

    2. Check road and weather conditions

      1. How can you check road conditions?

        [Conduct discussion.]

      2. How can you check weather conditions?

        [Conduct discussion.]

    3. Plan for the unexpected

      1. Don't get blasé about driving a school bus

      2. You should always anticipate that, despite your best preparations, something could go wrong

    4. Remember that you aren't in your own car

      1. A school bus handles and responds very differently than a car

      2. You have to apply different driving rules when you are in a school bus

    5. Always have an emergency plan

      1. You should know what to do in the event of an emergency

      2. You should know how to evacuate your bus

      3. Review local policy and procedures

  9. On your route, there is one very important rule

    1. Slow down

      1. This is the most important thing to remember when driving in adverse weather

  10. Here are two more reminders that apply to all adverse weather conditions

    1. When you are in a difficult driving situation, let your students know

      1. Tell them you need their cooperation

      2. Ask them to be quiet and to behave

    2. Remind your students to stand further back from the road when waiting for the school bus

  11. Are there any questions about the general rules for handling adverse weather conditions?

I. - Distribute agenda

I.D - Display Slide #1

I.E - Display Slide #2

I.F - Display Slide #3

I.H - Display Slide #4

I.I - Display Slide #5


I. You may want to distribute the agenda as participants enter the training area. If your participants don't know each other or if they don't know the instructor, you may want to do introductions.

I.B. Ask the group the question. For your benefit, the desired response or correct answer is provided in italics. This format will be used throughout the module. Record all responses that relate to weather. The goal here is to get participants to begin thinking about the wide variety of weather conditions that they might encounter. Keep the focus on weather. Don't include other conditions that might be considered adverse, e.g., construction, animals on the road, traffic.

I.H. CDL stands for Commercial Driver's License. Everyone in the room must have a CDL or they cannot legally operate a school bus.

I.H.2.a. To check road conditions, communicate with dispatch, other drivers, parents, or spotters. Listen to the bus radio. Call the state transportation office or the State Police. Go see for yourself in the parking lot or on the drive into work. Listen to the radio or television. Discuss particular procedures in place in your local area.

I.H.2.b. To check weather, listen to or watch the weather report. There will be a discussion of how to understand some important weather terms a little later in the module (Section II, Good Things to Know).

I.H.3.b. For example, an unexpected storm could develop or you could have mechanical trouble and be on the road longer than you had planned.

I.H.5.c. This module does not cover emergency procedures or evacuation. For safety reasons, it is important to have a local policy on emergency procedures. School bus drivers need to receive training on the policy and procedures. If you do not have such a policy and procedures, it is important that the local school district and transportation vendor (if applicable) develop them. Your State Director of Pupil Transportation should be able to direct you to the resources you need to get started. To obtain the phone number of your State Director call 1-800-585-0340 or go to

I.I.1.a. To “slow down” is the most important thing that participants should remember from this module. It will be repeated often in the instruction. EMPHASIZE IT.

Back to Top