Tips for proper mirror adjustment
Below are some helpful mirror adjustment tips that I have found in my 25 years of various bus driving…Hope some of them help you!
Proper adjustment and use of all mirrors is imperative to the safe operation of your school bus in order to observe the danger zone around the bus and look for students, traffic, and other objects in this area. All mirrors should be checked for proper adjustment before driving the bus.
Let’s look at the mirrors and what you should see from them.
Outside Left and Right Flat Mirrors
These mirrors are mounted on the left and right sides of your bus. They are used to observe traffic and clearances to the side of the bus. There is generally a blind spot below and in front of each mirror and directly behind the back bumper.
Ensure that the mirrors are properly adjusted so you can see:
200 feet to the rear.
Along the side of the bus.
The rear tires touching the ground.
Outside Left and Right Side Convex Mirrors
Convex mirrors are located near the flat mirrors and are used to view the left and right sides at a wide angle. These mirrors present an image that does not accurately reflect the size and distance from the bus.
Ensure the mirrors are properly adjusted so that you can see:
The entire side of the bus up to the mirror mounts.
Front of the rear tires touching the ground.
At least one traffic lane on either side of the bus.
Outside Cross View Mirror
These mirrors are mounted on one or both front corners of the bus. They are used to see the “danger zone” directly in front of the bus that is not visible by direct vision, and also view the “danger zone” to the sides including the service door and the front wheel area. These mirrors again present an image that does not accurately reflect the size and distance from the bus.
Make sure the mirrors are properly adjusted so that you can see:
The entire area in front of the bus from the front bumper at ground level to a point where direct vision is possible. Direct vision and mirror view vision should overlap.
The front tire(s) touching the ground.
The area from the front of the bus to the service door.
These mirrors, along with the convex and flat mirrors, should be looked at in a sequence to gaurantee a child or object is not in any of your danger zones.
Overhead Interior Rearview Mirror
This mirror is mounted directly above the windshield on the driver’s side area of the bus. This mirror is used to monitor passenger activity in the bus. It is NOT, I repeat, NOT to be used for backing the bus!
Be sure the mirror is properly adjusted so you can see:
The top of the rear window in the top of the mirror.
All of the seating positions.
When you have everything adjusted properly, this is what your mirrors should cover.
Always take the time to actually LOOK at the reflected image in the mirror…take the time to SEE what’s there.
Now, let’s review the 8 most common mistakes you can make…
1- Adjusting the mirrors improperly… Not following the advice above or that of your instructor, can lead to disaster.
2- Not bothering to adjust the mirrors… Just because you are a sub, or using a spare bus does not mean you just leave them as they are. Adjust them for YOU!
3- Not keeping the mirrors clean… Dirty mirrors are inexcusable. Take a few seconds to wipe them off on your pre-trip.
4- Not checking the security of mirrors… Mirrors that are not firmly attached to the bus need to be corrected. What happens if it falls off during your route?
5- Not scanning properly… Develop a periodic and systematic process for checking your mirrors on a regular basis.
6- Using the wrong mirrors… Do not use your student crossing mirrors as driving mirrors, and do not use your inside rearview mirror for changing lanes or entering/exiting traffic. Never use that mirror as a disciplinary tool.
7- Not staying focused… Stay focused on the driving environment around you, as it can change instantly.
8- Not rocking and rolling… Buses and mirrors themselves cause blind spots. Always “Rock and Roll” in your seat to help see past these blind spots.