Archive | Safety Info

Buying The Safest Safety Car Seat for Your Child

Posted on 13 November 2019 by Monica Zech

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has great information on buying the safest safety car seat for your child.  The following link with take you to their information.

https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats#find-compare-seats

 

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Road Rage – Curbing the Rage

Posted on 05 August 2019 by Monica Zech

I’m sure you’ve experienced or have seen angry drivers on our roadways.  The Automobile Club of Southern California offers some valuable advice on curbing the rage.

http://news.aaa-calif.com/news/survey-shows-nearly-80-of-drivers-express-significant-anger

Some tips I offer in dealing with road rage:

  • When someone cuts you off – let it go, don’t take it personally.
  • You cannot educate other on how to drive…it’s not worth the possible dangers if you get angry and honk, yell curse words, or use a variety of obscene hand gestures.
  • Remember – you endanger yourself and your passengers when you try to get even with other drivers.
  • Also, do not drive angry or in a bad mood.  Cool down, play some uplifting music, or have a picture of someone or something you love near the dashboard – and remember that person, your family, your favorite sport or vacation spot is MORE IMPORTANT than playing the road rage game.
  • Let karma get even for you – I see this all the time, someone cuts me off and then that bad driver is often cut-off by other drivers.

Sometimes I imagine that person driving badly or rudely is:

  • Running late for work and may be fired.
  • Responding to a family emergency.
  • Has a stomachache and needs to find a bathroom fast!
  • Maybe they were just served with divorce papers or given devastating news.
  • They’re just in a bad mood and mentally I wish them well.

Best – Be a courteous driver:

  • Control your anger.
  • Don’t take traffic problems personally – Let it go.
  • Avoid making eye contact with an aggressive driver.
  • Don’t make obscene gestures.
  • Don’t tailgate.
  • Use your horn sparingly — even a polite honk can be misinterpreted.
  • Don’t block the passing lane.
  • Don’t block the right turn lane.

Another incentive – the Road Rage Law – you could be arrested if you’re trying to get even with someone, running them off the roadway or deliberately hitting their vehicle with your vehicle.  Jail time and fines may be issued.

Stay Alert-Stay Alive!

Monica Zech

 

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April is “Distracted Driving Awareness Month”- But It’s a Year-Round Issue!

Posted on 13 April 2018 by Monica Zech

What Is Distracted Driving? Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.

Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.

Consequences – Distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 3,166 lives in 2017 alone.  391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015. During daylight hours, approximately 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.

Click on the link below to learn more.  https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving

*Note: “I’ve been impacted three times drivers on their cell phones – so I personally know the dangers!”

Monica Zech

Safe Driving Speaker

 

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TRAFFIC Information

Posted on 12 April 2018 by Monica Zech

 Getting around as safely as possible – the following links can help!

TRAFFIC Information & more:

 

Freeway Project Information:  Click here – https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-11

 

Disaster Preparedness and additional resources…

Stay safe!

 

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Is Your Safety Car Seat Installed Correctly?

Posted on 09 April 2018 by Monica Zech

Remember, when buying a safety car seat you’re investing in your child’s safety & future.

For some immediate help visit: https://carseat.org/ or http://carseat.psc411.com/ – great for recall information. Check it regularly for any changes or alerts.

Another important safety website is from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – here is their information on safety car seats:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats

Here in San Diego County contact the Pacific Safety Center to check and see if your carseat is installed correctly.

Pacific Safety Council  858-621-2313 x116

*You could also try calling your local police department to see if there is someone trained to help you install your safety car seat.

Know the Law!

  • Children 8 years old or 80 pounds must be in a child passenger safety seat. Infants should ride in rear-facing safety seats as long as possible until they are 12 months old and weigh 20 pounds. Children, who are at least 1 year old, weigh 20 to 40 pounds, and can no longer ride rear-facing should ride in forward-facing child safety seats. Children over 40 pounds should be correctly secured in belt-positioning boosters or other appropriate child restraints or safety car seat until the adult lap and shoulder belts fit correctly (usually around age 8). Once the vehicle safety belts fit children, both lap and shoulder belts should be correctly used. All children ages 12 and under should always be properly restrained in the back seat every time, no matter how short the trip.
  • All safety seats must be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions and vehicle owner’s manual.
  • READ YOUR MANUALS! You will be surprised at the information that is available to you.
  • Buckle-UP – it’s a snap!!!” Research shows if you buckle-up your children will buckle-up! As emergency agencies, almost daily we see how wearing a seat restraint increases your chances of survival in a car collision. It’s being prepared for the “un-expected!” And it’s the LAW! A law that’s saving lives!
  • Note: As a parent – are you always buckled up correctly – and is your child’s safety car seat installed correctly?
  • Unfortunately, studies show over 90% of the safety car seats in use are not installed correctly! So the fatality rate is very high for children involved in car collisions.
  • Another fact – not all safety car seats fit all cars!
  • When buying a new safety car seat “always” send in the warranty cards in case of recalls. Don’t scrimp on your child’s safety – never buy a car seat from a garage sale or thrift store, or as a hand me down from a friend.

Some Facts about Safety Seats

  • Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injuries and death for children.
  • When used correctly, child safety seats can reduce fatal injuries in cars by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for children from age 1-4.
  • Don’t forget to always wear your seat belt and be a good safety role model for your children…in everything you do.

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Just Slow Down! Speed Kills and Injures (Video)

Posted on 08 April 2018 by Monica Zech

A powerful video reminding us to “slow down” especially on surface streets, especially in the area around schools:

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Safe Driving Websites For Teen Drivers

Posted on 08 April 2018 by Monica Zech

Several important websites for teens and their parents in the area of driving safety:

One or more of these links will help in making your teen feel better about driving. I strongly recommend “not” doing “online” driver education.  The classroom setting is much more real and has a greater impact.

The following are some of my favorite websites in covering teen driving:

#1.  From the California DMV – great information about teen drivers:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/dl603/teen_htm/gettingstarted/

 

#2. National Safety Council – Teen Driving & Parents

http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/TeenDriving/Pages/teen_driving.aspx

 

#3. Teen Drivers and Highway Design

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/humanfac/pdfs/01-120.pdf

 

#4. Insurance Information & safe driving tips:

https://ratesforinsurance.com/distracted-driving/

 

Being 100% alert behind the wheel reduces your collision factor dramatically.  It’s distracted driving, impaired and aggressive driving kills and injuries.  In regards to speed – the faster we go – the less control you have, and less likely to avoid a collision.

If you’re are interested in a safe driving talk – please go to my contact section on this website, or email your request to [email protected].

My passion is safety – thank you & be safe!

 

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Stay Alert – Stay Alive – A Professional & Personal Perspective On Driving

Posted on 19 October 2015 by Monica Zech

Monica’s passion is “driving” safety.  Since 1984 she’s been speaking on behalf of all those injured and killed in preventable collisions.  Her presentation is called “Stay Alert – Stay Alive!”

Broadcast Career:  Monica has been involved in broadcasting for more than thirty-five years. Her broadcasting career highlights; in 1971, she became the first female broadcast intern at KGTV, Ch. 10, from Crawford High School.   While attending Grossmont College she was hired as a news anchor for KITT Radio.  She went on to work for a variety of radio stations as a news anchor & reporter, including K105, KPOP/KGB/KCNN radio, KOGO, an all-news radio station in Portland, Oregon, then back to San Diego to work for KFMB Radio.

High Flying Career Change: Toward the end of 1983, Monica received a call from the Automobile Club of Southern California and asked to take on the position as their air traffic reporter.   In January of 1984 she became San Diego’s first female airborne traffic reporter, and soon after – San Diego’s first television traffic reporter for both the NBC and ABC local affiliates, and provide reports for some ten radio stations.  To prepare to take on this position, she started doing her own research on driving safety, riding with almost every law enforcement agency in the County, with fire crews, riding with paramedics, and observing trauma room activity at Mercy Hospital.  Monica also talked with traffic engineers at CALTRANS.   In working with CALTRANS they allowed the Auto Club to tap into their ramp metering system that gave traffic speeds on major freeways, this was a big help during rainy and foggy day when they were unable to fly.  Monica was honored when some of the CALTRANS engineers nicknamed the system the “MONICA” System -MONI – (Monitor) – CA – Congested Areas.   It was due to this research Monica saw the “crucial” need to add safety education tips to her traffic reports – and to begin lecturing on traffic safety in the community.

Driving Safety Becomes Her Passion:  Almost from the start of her traffic reporting career, Monica began delivering lectures on driving safety throughout San Diego, Los Angeles, and Riverside Counties, and in 2010 her talks became national when she was invited to speak to a high school in Miami, Florida.  Later came requests to speak in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, Petree, Wyoming, and Grand Ronde, Oregon.  Recognized for her dedication to safety, Monica has received numerous news, safety and community service awards. (See her awards section)  Although Monica enjoyed her work as a reporter, she most enjoyed her research and lectures in the community on transportation safety.   Her goal is to reduce the injury and death on our roadways.  Since the beginning, she has delivered these lectures on her own time,  using vacation hours, and speaking evenings and weekends.

 

Tragedy Hits Home:  After eight years of safety lecturing, Monica’s work in traffic safety took on an even deeper meaning, when on June 5th, 1992; her own father was struck and killed by a DUI driver.  On that Friday evening, just after 6:00 p.m., Monica’s father was crossing at the corner of El Cajon Boulevard at Jessie Avenue in La Mesa. The investigation showed a vehicle stopped to allow her father to cross, but as he started to cross an approaching vehicle, driven by a 23-year-old DUI driver, went around to pass the stopped vehicle.  The DUI driver claimed he saw a man crossing the street but thought this man would stop walking to allow him to continue to drive through. But Monica’s father was already in that second lane and the DUI driver, who should have stopped, struck and killed Monica’s 63-year-old father.  The DUI driver had a blood-alcohol level of .16, twice over the legal limit and he was driving on a suspended license.   In the picture below is the vehicle that struck and killed Monica’s father. The damage to the front windshield was caused by her father’s head striking the windshield, an indentation to the left front end of the vehicle was where his upper body struck. His body was then thrown some twenty feet into the air coming down headfirst into the center median across the street crushing his skull and causing his fatal injuries.

Charges:  It was the driver’s fourth DUI arrest, demonstrating a continued lack of respect for the law. It took her father to stop him – but it also took his life to do it.  From the first DUI, his license had been suspended and was driving without insurance coverage.  Despite his previous DUI record, he was sentenced to a mere four years in prison and after serving hardly a year and a half of his sentence he was released for good behavior.  But, Monica’s father is still gone and very much missed by Monica and her family. His death became a part of Monica’s lectures on the subject of DUI.  Although it’s been 27 years since his death, talking about her father is painful, but it’s important for Monica to take that pain and educate her audiences on how “precious” life is.  She also makes it very clear – she speaks in memory of all those killed and injured in preventable traffic collisions that happen every day.

 

New Career:  Following her broadcast career, Monica became the Public Information Officer and Fire Safety Specialist for a fire department in San Diego County, later becoming the City’s PIO, from 2001 to 2019. By representing two EMS agencies (Fire & Police) she was able to provide safety education as a full-time career. In August of 2019, she retired from this position to dedicate her life to transportation safety through her life-saving lectures.

 

 

Lightning Strikes Twice:  Twelve years after her father’s death, the DUI issue struck again.  On the evening of February 5th, 2005, Monica’s then 24-year-old daughter Victoria, was struck broadside by a 17-year-old female, unlicensed, DUI driver.  Thanks to her daughter’s alertness and quick actions behind the wheel, she was able to avoid a direct side impact into her driver’s door.  The young lady did strike the front end of her daughter’s car then fled the scene, thankfully she was arrested a couple of blocks away.

 Victoria did suffer some minor injuries, and her vehicle sustained about $4,000 in damages. But, Monica is very thankful her daughter was able to avoid fatal injuries.  A year later she was able to see her daughter graduate from paramedic school and marry. Her daughter is now a Physician’s Assistant.

Sadly, Monica meets many parents who are not so fortunate to see their children achieve their dreams.  Research shows many drivers, with suspended licenses from a DUI, continue to drive, often repeating the same driving behavior. That’s why it’s crucial we are always 100% alert behind the wheel and as a pedestrian.

 

Been There Done That:  Despite being a good, aware driver, Monica herself has been a victim of a few traffic collisions.  She’s been hit three times by people on a cell phone, another incident was with a STOP sign runner.

Near Paralyzing Collision:  On August 29th, 2003, Monica was on her way to a CHP office in El Cajon when a motorist ran the STOP sign at the bottom of the ramp from west 8 to East Main Street.  The driver ran the STOP by two car lengths and failing to look left, pulled directly into Monica’s right of way.  Monica was able to slam on her brakes, leaving 22 feet of skid marks, striking the woman’s back door.   Monica’s quick reaction saved that driver’s life, but Monica suffered serious injuries and was transported to a local hospital.  Doctors later discovered Monica would require neck surgery.  A few months later, just before Christmas Eve, she had neck surgery to repair the spine damage. Two surgeons, looking at her MRI’s, said Monica should have been paralyzed by this crash.

 

Monica shares these real-life experiences and those she has seen in her work with police and fire.

Important Note: Stats show 40% of motorists drive without insurance, or limited insurance – so check your policy and make sure you have good “un-insured and under-insured” motorist coverage.  It’s important to carry the highest amount possible to cover you and your passengers.  I know it’s important to save money, but don’t scrimp on your insurance.

For a professional and personal look at what it takes to be a “safe” driver for your school, group, military group or company please contact Monica Zech at (619) 219-9030, or email her at [email protected].

Buckle-up – and Stay Alert-Stay Alive!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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