According to the National Safety Council, California had the second-highest rate of truck-related fatalities in 2020, with 398 people killed.
In the San Benito area, where rural landscapes intertwine with transportation routes, trucks and cars must share the roads. While you cannot control what truck drivers do, there are measures you can take to protect yourself.
Maintain a safe speed
Congested roads, unexpected curves, narrow lanes and varying road conditions demand extra caution. Drivers should adhere to posted speed limits and adjust their speed according to weather conditions, visibility and the road’s topography.
Follow at a distance
A generous gap between your car and a semi-truck allows for increased reaction time, reducing the risk of collisions. Tailgating can lead to catastrophic consequences, so keep a safe distance and prepare yourself for sudden stops or obstacles.
Stay alert to surroundings
Country roads often present unique challenges such as wildlife crossings, farm vehicles and unpaved sections. Pay attention to road signs indicating potential hazards and be prepared to react accordingly. Avoid texting or eating, because these activities can distract you.
Maintain your vehicle
Ensure that your car is in optimal condition by routinely checking brakes, tires, lights and other components. Faulty equipment can contribute to accidents on country roads, so preventive measures are key to avoiding catastrophic incidents.
Exercise caution in inclement weather
San Benito’s weather can be unpredictable, with sudden rain showers or fog affecting visibility. When adverse weather conditions arise, exercise extreme caution. Reduce speed, use headlights and be ready for slippery road surfaces. Adjust your driving behavior to match the current weather, ensuring the safety of both yourself and others on the road.
In the unfortunate event that you experience a collision with a truck, report the accident and seek medical attention right away.