An emergency is any (unforeseen) situation that can endanger or cause physical harm to people. This affects the passengers of buses, but also the drivers. As a driver, how do you ensure that you react correctly in such exceptional situations?
A fire, a traffic accident or a medical emergency. You never know when an emergency will occur. It is important to act professionally here. If you want to react quickly and correctly in an emergency, you have to be prepared for the situation, have thought through the appropriate behavior and, ideally, also trained.
Various legal standards stipulate how a bus must be equipped with safety technology. These include emergency exits, equipping vehicles with fire extinguishers and first aid kits.
Information for passengers
At the beginning of the journey in tourist traffic, passengers must be informed of where the emergency equipment is housed and where the emergency exits are located. This can be done through an announcement, visibly displayed instructions or a corresponding on-board video. In addition, the drivers are obliged to inform the passengers of the obligation to wear seat belts.
Call the emergency
In addition, the drivers need to know how to secure an accident scene and how to make an emergency call. The pan-European emergency number is 112. An emergency call is made using the so-called 5-W rule (in some countries the 6-W rule).
Instructions to passengers
In contrast to a breakdown, in which the passengers are normally not supposed to leave the vehicle, an accident has to be responded to depending on the situation. If the passengers are to leave the bus, the driver has to give a brief description of the situation and the necessary instructions by means of a calm, factual announcement.
If the vehicle overturned in the accident, the situation is more difficult. The passengers must now be reassured, it must be determined whether people have been injured and need help. If possible, the drivers will give instructions on how to use the emergency exits. In this case, too, the request to help and information about the appropriate whereabouts must be given.
Vehicle fire situation
In the event of a vehicle fire, speed is of the essence. Evacuation attempts that were carried out as part of a research project to improve emergency exits in coaches provided information on the behavior of vehicle occupants in a corresponding emergency. The rescue took an average of three minutes. Rescuing a third person took an average of 16 minutes.
In such a moment, which can be a matter of life and death in an emergency, can be shortened if the occupants are better able to recognize the appropriate emergency exits or if they are already informed about them in advance. Targeted, clear instructions in an emergency by the driving staff are therefore particularly important in the event of a fire. In the event of an evacuation, the toilet and rest room must be checked!
Accident in the tunnel
The idea of being stuck in a traffic jam after an accident or even a vehicle fire in a tunnel can trigger fear and anxiety. This makes it all the more important to deal with the correct behavior in the tunnel and in an emergency.
Accident on the bridge
An accident or breakdown also poses particular problems on bridges. Especially when it comes to a motorway bridge with a corresponding length and height, the situation is perceived as particularly threatening by the passengers and sometimes also by the drivers. If the vehicle stops directly on the bridge, the same safety rules apply as in other breakdown situations.
Bus drivers have received first aid training and refresh their knowledge in regular courses. If there is no doctor among the passengers, they should take the initiative and take emergency measures in the event of a medical emergency.
At the same time, help must be requested via the emergency number. This applies both in the event of an accident and in the event of medical emergencies among passengers. After the acute care of the injured, the drivers should, if possible, also take care of other victims who are in shock or who are traumatized.