Rush hour was no fun, Thursday afternoon, but it was also a challenge getting kids home from school.
As a driver, this has been one of those days to really test your abilities and your patience. But for bus drivers, it's their job.
"You need to be extra cautious on a day like [Thursday]. The bus handles itself pretty well. What you really have to do is be defensive, watch for other traffic, other cars are going too fast, sliding through the intersection or stop sign and you have to be ready to anticipate that and be ready for that," School Bus, Inc. director Jim Shafer said.
When Sioux Falls bus drivers headed out at around 2:00 p.m., Thursday, there were nearly whiteout conditions on the road.
They had a challenge but it was nothing they haven't seen or prepared for before.
"This type of weather I see as more as a challenge rather than a fear," Shafer said. "I'm always concerned with how slippery is it, how slow do I need to go, how cautious to do need to be. On a day like today, I spend a lot more time watching the other traffic than when it's a normal day, normal driving conditions."
Driver and director Jim Shafer has been at this for nearly 34 years and, while conditions were poor, he says having experience doesn't always make it any easier.
Shafer and his drivers have been taking things slowly. For some, it took twice the amount of time to get kids to and from where they needed to go.
"We've had a number of cars slide right into the back of the bus because they were going too fast, the bus was dropping kids off and the bus was rear-ended. When the streets are slick like this, they're hard to get around, hard to stop. That's why is slower. Drivers need to be extra cautious around a school bus," he said.
After all, getting those kids to and from where they need to be *safely* is the drivers' number one priority.
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