The state trooper on the side of the road may be one of the hazards of the holiday drive…but to that trooper, you may be a hazard as well. There’s always the danger of being hit by a careless motorist, explains patrol Sergeant Robert Hansen.He says they lose a few cars and have several more damaged when drivers lose control as they come upon an accident scene, or drift off onto the shoulder. Weather can be a hazard for the troopers, too.Iowa’s lost several patrol cars and had people injured in recent years when winter weather’s changing. Hansen explains rain changing to colder conditions will make roads icy, which can send a patrol car into a ditch as easily as any other motorist. And at times even a driver who’s apparently awake and sober will veer off onto the shoulder and hit a patrol car that’s stopped or has someone pulled over.When they follow up, the driver often admits to reaching for a soda, changing the radio station, not paying attention — he says you shouldn’t drive too fast to slow down and prepare if something happens. Last January, a trooper survived after a passing car hit his squad car. The trooper was pinned him underneath the car and two of the people in a car he’d pulled over were killed.
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