Texas truckers often share the road with you without much issue. But you can still feel dwarfed driving alongside a big rig. It is easy to imagine the amount of damage you could suffer from if you were to get entangled in a crash with one.

Unfortunately, that is the reality for some drivers out there. Not only do crashes with truckers prove lethal, but these crashes were avoidable. They happen due to rampant drowsiness in the industry.

Why is drowsy driving prevalent in trucking?

The Sleep Foundation examines drowsy driving in the trucking industry. This is an enormous issue with multiple potential causes. For one, ex-truckers often claim that they felt pressured to make impossible deadlines. They claim companies forced them to follow dangerous, rigorous schedules. Despite feeling pushed to the limit, employers expected them to continue driving even when exhausted.

Some also claim there is a culture within the trucking industry that takes pride in sleep deprivation. Truckers who complain about the long, grueling hours get ridiculed and viewed as “weak” compared to other drivers. These drivers sometimes compare how long they go without sleeping, as if it is a badge of honor.

How does drowsiness impact drivers?

Unfortunately, this badge of honor can spell fatal consequences for other drivers. Truckers are not immune to drowsy driving no matter how many times they have done it. Any time they get behind the wheel while tired, they risk microsleeps, dozing off at the wheel and other issues. Their attention span, reaction time and concentration all suffer.

This spells out fatal dangers for other drivers due to their size, speed and weight. A semi truck getting into a crash with a passenger vehicle has a foregone conclusion: almost always, the passenger vehicle will lose.