OLATHE, Kan. -- Every year, nearly a dozen troopers are hit in traffic-related crashes, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.
But now, a trooper who's among those "statistics" is working to fix that problem.
"That white one right there had plenty of space to move over,” Trooper Candice Brashears said watching a car drive by and not move over.
Brashears and her colleagues step into a very real, very dangerous situation every day while working to keep people safe along Kansas highways.
"I've seen a lot of my partners throughout my career get struck by vehicles,” Brashears said.
She has had a close call of her own -- when her patrol vehicle was struck by another vehicle as she helped a stranded driver.
Whether it's a disabled vehicle, traffic stop or a crash, law enforcement agencies are asking you to move over and slow down to give them more than just 3 feet of room from cars going 60-70 mph.
"Move over, slow down,” Brashears said. "That simple courteous act could safe someone's life."
It's also the law.
The same rules apply when you see a KDOT or MoDOT vehicle on the side of the road. Just this winter season, at least two trucks in Kansas and three in Missouri were hit by oncoming traffic.
"It is an epidemic," MoDOT Incident Management Coordinator Marcus Slaughter said.
Moving over and slowing down for emergency vehicles starts with paying attention. The sound of distracted driving sticks with Slaughter.
"The screeching breaks, a vehicle getting hit. I've had to jump over guard rails and median barriers before," Slaughter said. "We beg all the time: If folks would just simply pay attention, reduce speed especially in inclement weather."
These public servants just want to make it home safe to their families at the end of the day.