SARASOTA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Driving on Florida's highways can be treacherous, especially when you're a trooper on the side of the road.
Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Kenn Watson watched and counted as drivers broke the state's "Move Over" law on I-75.
"I've got a Mustang now that’s not going to move over," Watson said. "That's a perfect example of more than enough opportunity to either slow down and change lanes or move over. Did not slow down nor did they change lanes."
If the law seems like an inconvenience to drivers, it's a matter of life and death for troopers, who often find themselves in harm's way.
In November, a trooper in Lee County had stopped to help a broken-down driver when a car slammed into his patrol car.
Luckily the trooper survived with only minor injuries; he even rescued the driver who hit him from the burning wreckage.
But not everyone has been able to walk away from these types of crashes.
This year alone, 14 troopers have been killed in similar crashes nationwide.
"It's a huge number and it all comes down to people driving distracted," Watson said.
Drivers can get distracted by their cell phones, the radio and whatever else is going on in their heads.
"Unfortunately it does not surprise me," he said.
Three of Watson's friends have been hit. He even had a close call of his own.
"We had a dump truck who lost control of his vehicle," Watson recalled. "Crashed into me and crushed me in-between the barrier and his vehicle."
Federal and state highway officials are now warning drivers to pay attention to the road and to move over. If you violate the law in Florida, you could be issued a ticket, receive three points on your license and face a fine.
"It just takes a little bit of forethought to make sure that working environment is safe for everyone," Watson said.
It could even save a life.
"You have a 4,500-pound missile that you are behind. You are responsible for it," he said.