Here I am driving my fiancé Anthony’s Toyota Tundra to help me prepare for driving a school bus. (He quickly snapped this photo while we were stopped at a red light.)
In past posts for our blog, I’ve mentioned that when I was a kid, the only time I rode a school bus was for field trips. That’s going to change soon — next month, I’m scheduled to not just ride a school bus, I’ll actually be driving
The plan is for me to drive a bus at a dealership here in Southern California. (I will just be driving the bus around the parking lot, and no students will be on board.)
We set this goal so that I can get a better sense of what you and your drivers face on a daily basis in terms of maneuvering such a large vehicle on the road. I’m sure this can be a challenge in and of itself, and if there are unruly students on board, the challenges are undoubtedly greater.
I learned how to drive using my mom’s Honda Accord, and since then, the only car I’ve driven is my Volkswagon Beetle, so the prospect of driving a school bus was daunting. To prepare for it, I’ve been driving my fiancé Anthony’s Toyota Tundra. (Not exactly the size of a school bus, of course, but for those who may not know, it is significantly taller, wider and longer than a Beetle.)
Driving Anthony’s truck is a lot easier than I thought it would be. The brakes aren’t as sensitive as those in the Beetle, so that took some getting used to, but it runs smoothly, and it’s nice being higher off the ground because I don’t feel as much when I drive over bumps and through dips in the road. Late last month, I took a big step and drove the truck on the freeway to Long Beach, Calif., for a family event, and I’m happy to report that all went well!
A couple of challenges I’ve faced in driving the Tundra are making turns (particularly right-hand turns) and parking. Once when I was making a right-hand turn into a parking lot, one of the tires bumped a curb because I made the turn too narrow. And the truck’s width and length make parking difficult. It’s hard for me to judge how much room I have to get into and out of a spot.
Nevertheless, I am more comfortable with the idea of driving a school bus now that I’ve driven a vehicle larger than my Beetle, and I think it will be an interesting and valuable experience. I'll be writing about my experience driving the bus, so stay tuned for a future post.
Do you have any tips for maneuvering a school bus? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time,
| posted on Friday, April 12, 2013 11:21 AM