CINCINNATI – In more than four decades as a bus driver, Nick Lang has gone more than 3 million miles without an accident.
But it's getting harder and harder for the Glendale man to keep that clean driving record intact.
Why? Two words:
Distracted drivers and pedestrians on their cell phones are making it harder and harder to avoid accidents, Lang says.
Investigators are still digging into the exact cause of Wednesday's fatal Metro bus accident in Hyde Park, but Lang can easily recall the five points of driver safety he learned when he started in 1969.
"Aim high in steering, get the big picture, keep your eyes moving, leave yourself an out and make sure they see you," Lang said.
His advice for drivers and pedestrians is simple.
"You've got to be aware and you've got to focus on what you're doing and focus on what's going on around you," Lang said.
If you wonder how anyone could not see a 14-ton, 40-foot bus, Lang can tell you how it happened to him.
"I got the green light, I started off -- a kid walked right into the side of the bus. Right into the side of the bus. If she'd been a few seconds earlier, I would have hit her," he said.
Lang says bus drivers also have to cope with other drivers in a big hurry.
"When you see people coming from the left lane, across three lanes of traffic and get off right there at the exit, that's off the hook. That's crazy," he said.
So are pedestrians looking down and not watching where they're going. Or not caring.
"When you stop at a crosswalk, the light changes, you've got the light and all of a sudden 10 people walk right out in front of you like they're daring you to run over them. That happens all the time," Lang said.
People looking down at their cell phones as they walk don’t see and can't hear because they're plugged in, he said.
"They turn them ear buds up and they're walking. They don't hear that garbage truck coming and they doggone well don't see them because they're on their cell phone."
Lang says drivers and pedestrians need to be alert, focus on what you're doing and focus on what's going on around you.