- Casey Hamm
- December 21, 2015
Marana Training Bus Drivers Via Simulator
Over just this past year alone, we have heard of numerous school bus crashes and often involving school children in the bus itself…
In one story, even blogged about a student saving the lives of his classmates and his bus driver after nearly crashing when their driver fell unconscious…
Driving a school bus is no funny business – with 30,000 pounds and some precious cargo inside, and now Marana is giving their school drivers a crash course in safety all around!
Are we crashing buses here to get examples of what to do in an emergency?
Not exactly! Instead, a 3D simulator was constructed at the Marana Unified School District and the Transportation Department to allow for more ‘real life” scenarios that could occur for these bus drivers…
One of the reasons for this advanced or extra training is for the sheer amount of driving the average bus driver drives – that’s over 10,000 miles and more than 6,000 kids being transported to and from school and home.
The simulator is set up almost exactly like a videogame (but with real life consequences should you take your poor skills to the real road)…
Everything mimics a real bus from starting the engine (you must press the brake while initiating the engine) to the actual jerk of the steering…
And steering seems to be the most crucial part of this training…Why?
Braking for a 30,000 pound yellow monster is just not going to happen in time to avoid a sudden obstacle in the road – in fact, it could do more harm than any good.
Instead the simulator focuses its trainees to become experts at steering around obstacles in the best way possible.
With three drivers at a time in the simulator, they get about an hour or so on the “road” with many obstacles, skill setting, weather changes and dos and don’ts of a potentially precarious road ahead.
Marana is planning on putting all 125 of their drivers through the 3D Simulator for optimal training and safety
*Thank you to Tucson News Now for the original story!
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