photo by Megan Rush

Seeing flashing lights on the highway doesn’t always mean law enforcement. Learn about how one man protects those along the highway.

Being stranded on the highway while cars fly past you is never ideal. Luckily, the Iowa Department of Transportation has a free service to help lessen the blow of vehicular accidents. Meet Austin McGinnis, one of the Highway Helpers, who drives one of the program’s iconic white trucks five days a week on Iowa’s busy interstates.

A typical day starts for McGinnis checking his truck and making sure it’s fueled with extra gas for motorists and his trusty iPod is filled with music to help pass the time. He aimlessly drives around until he comes across a problem or is notified of one by the Traffic Management Center.

Other states across the Midwest have similar programs including Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas and Michigan. Check out the traffic cams around Iowa.