HOVs Require Safety Awareness In All Directions

Posted on April 2, 2014 by - Also by this author

In our industry, we preach and teach about safety. Our passengers are the most precious of cargo on the highways. When you are operating a HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle), the number of lives in your hands increases. In some cases, you can be responsible for the safe travel of up to 80-passengers at a time.

You've heard it before, “Aim high,” “Look ahead,” Keep a safe following distance and keep a bubble of safety around your vehicle. When you are in an HOV, you must consider what is above you and what is below you as well. HOVs are heavier and taller than a car. These two things present unique challenges.

Will you fit under the overhang of a building? Will you fit under a bridge in a double-decker bus? Each bridge clearance has a measurement on it. Do you even know what the measurement of your vehicle is from the ground to the top? You should! Dangling tree limbs can cause significant damage to the vehicle if you allow them to scrape the roof. Don't do it!

Likewise, what is under you is important. The surface composition can wreak havoc on a big bus. Soft dirt or gravel and easily sink a bus down to the axle. From firsthand experience, to yank a bus out of soft sand is $500! If you are unsure of the surface, don't risk driving on it. Likewise, old bridges on private property may not hold the weight of an 80,000 pound vehicle fully loaded. Don't take chances!

― Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor

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