SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Wednesday was anything but a typical commute along Central Coast roadways. Rain fell throughout the day, many times coming down heavily for long periods of time. “I came from Gilroy down here,” said truck driver Stan Mezyk. “It was raining like heck. Pretty hard most of the way. In fact, I don’t think I shut my windshield wipers off.” The Portland, Ore. native is no stranger to the rain. He’s been driving in difficult weather during his nearly forty-year long truck driving career. During his countless hours on the road, he’s noticed a bad habit with California drivers during rainstorms. “Cars go way too fast in it,” said Mezyk, while taking a short break at the busy Santa Maria truck stop on Betteravia Rd. “If we can feel the water on the road, they sure can. They have to.” Truck driver Jesse Singh agreed with Mezyk.
The Cleveland, Ohio trucker also said drivers here needed to take their foot off the gas pedal. “California drivers, I don’t think they know how to drive,” said Singh. “They can’t handle the roads when they get a little slippery.” Singh arrived into Santa Maria after starting his day in Los Angeles. He said it had been an eventful drive. “I’ve seen three cars spin out on the road,” said Singh. “Three accidents. There were about three cars turned around on the freeway because they don’t know how to drive.” Both men offered advice to drivers on how they should react when the roads are wet. “Slow down,” said Mezyk. “Pay attention. Stay off the cruise control. Leave the phones down. Don’t drive right in front of you.
Drive way out ahead of you.” Singh added people should be extra cautious when driving around semi-trucks on the road. “These things are hard to stop,” Singh said. “Cars, they’re easy to turn and go, but these thing take a lot of room.” It’s a senitment shared by Mezyk, who said his day would continue with a drive south to Oxnard. “Give us a little room,” Mezyk said. “If you’re going to pass us, go ahead and pass us. Most of us will slow down a little bit and let you get by and let you back in if you need to, but they cut us off and they shorten the distance on us real quick or they get back there just ahead of the spray from the trailer and they just stay right there along side of you and we have nowhere to go if something happens.”