Parking Safety

A KnowTheFundamentals Article:

When parking your vehicle anywhere, but especially around schools in crowded urban areas, remember the fundamentals regarding safe habits.  Take the few moments to keep everyone around you in a safe circumstance.  Remember, it’s not just your safety that’s important, but also not creating situations that would cause another driver to swerve out of control and into others.

After talking with crossing guards around my child’s school, it became apparent that they had a bit of frustration with how drivers acted carelessly with their vehicles.  Understanding both points of view, that of a parent hurrying to get their child to school or to be on time to pick them up, and, the narrow streets and congested sidewalks filled with children of all ages, it was obvious that something should be done before hundreds of children witness something horrible.

Here are a couple of images (see 4Kids for a game) we created using digital modeling program and photoshop to get the point across to parents to ‘take the extra time to properly park their car in order to avoid creating dangerous circumstance,’ and a second one that could be passed out to children as a sort of search game, to get them to recognize when their environment is dangerous.

In my mind it is easier to do this than deal with the consequences of something terrible happening.  Doing nothing when it is obvious that taking your child out into the street to load them into a double parked car, or have them jay walk, or having cars actually drive on sidewalks, are all very dangerous habits and have the unfortunate result of teaching our children unsafe practices.

It should be understandable to all parents that there is probably plenty of parking available on surrounding streets.  Take the time to show your child you care about their life and safety, so they’ll understand what it means to consider their own circumstances in the future.


Digital Illustration by WhatCoutnsNow. Image may be used for non-commercial purposes freely as is, or with changes done by Please let them know of your intentions of use so we can let the world know that we are making a difference. The title “Preventative Action Committee’ will be changed to ‘Know the Fundamentals’ and the design/placement will be altered.

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Posted in General Knowledge, Parent Tips

NYC DOT Signage Reminder

The NYC Department of Transportation understands that “Reckless Driving Kills” and has gone to the trouble
and expense of reminding their drivers every day. It’s common practice with companies and corporations to remind their personnel of the importance of safety everyday.  The truth is, we all need reminding every day as it’s our responsibility as adults to act in a safe way every day.  Enough with ‘man-children’ who are enabled to act irresponsibly, and this goes for women too who do the same.  We need to find a way to reach people to teach them what is expected of their behavior so that they don’t put themselves or others at risk.

Tragedy after tragedy after tragedy.  We’re all sorry when it’s someone close that’s effected, it’s takes no effort to understand what others are going through when they loose someone on the roads, yet the number of incidents just numbs us to the point of acceptance.  That, of course, is an unacceptable attitude.  We need to instill safe behaviors early so they become the habits and norms of our citizens, and be reminded to ‘be safe’ every day from those who care.


DOT-Reckless Driving Kills warning

DOT-Reckless Driving Kills warning

Posted in General Knowledge

What is an Accident?

A KnowTheFundamentals Article

What really happens when two people collide?  Was it truly unavoidable as in a ‘pure accident’, or was one party, perhaps both parties acting in a negligent manner?

Accidents typically happen when someone is doing something they shouldn’t do.  Perhaps it is both parties that are each doing something that they shouldn’t do.  But fundamentally when accidents occur it is because a series of circumstances have built up to a point where a collision is unavoidable.

If you’re negligent, it means that ‘you should of known better.’  But most often the ‘know better’ really translates into ‘I was too lazy to worry about doing the right thing.’  Too lazy, and ‘to worry about it’ is really the main point.  The person doing the wrong thing typically knows they are taking a chance, but goes ahead and takes that chance anyway.  The real kicker here is that they decided that they shouldn’t worry about it.  Think about that.  If something takes too much effort or time, and you decide to take a chance, your mind is confronted with the possibility of danger, but in an odd twist your mind allows you to not worry about that danger.

As I and other start to post examples of people acting reckless with their children, themselves and consequently others, I believe that most will understand exactly what I mean with the above.  Certainly as children are taught bad behavior by their parents, when they grow up they will be less likely to even consider the actual danger they’re putting themselves in. This also increases their probability of being in a serious accident.

Remember, when you ‘take a short cut’ in order to save you the effort of doing something correctly, you could cause someone to swerve to avoid you and inadvertently put someone who’s innocent at risk. It’s not just about you and whether you ‘made it through a situation safely.’ It’s about all of us and the influence of behavior you have on others.

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Posted in General Knowledge, Parent Tips

Video Demonstration of ped, bike and vehicle dangers.

This is a must watch for everyone, not just those who take safety seriously but those who think that they can just meander through the city with only their own concerns at the center. What is noted here is that when one takes a risk they are in fact putting other people at risk. It is obvious that by simply following the rules as everyone knows them, and taking the extra few seconds, that everyone can get to their destination safely and probably more efficiently.

3-Way Street from ronconcocacola on Vimeo.

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Posted in General Knowledge

Should safety be taught in school?

In elementary school we are taught the basics of math, history, language, science, music and other things. Even safety is modestly addressed, but in my opinion not near enough to ensure that everyone is on the same page, and to reinforce what is right even if a child’s parents are teaching them the wrong things. After all what good is it to teach a child about all sorts of things if they then go out, run across a street and get killed?

There should be a required intensive safety course for every child every year based on the knowledge that a particular age group,
from pre-K to 6th grade at a minimum, to give children the basics on how to take care of themselves and how to spot dangerous situations. The curriculum should be taught like any other subject, for one week a year and tested until each child knows everything they should know for that age. Every year the topics covered should be expanded to make them appropriate for the new age group.

Is this really necessary? We all know pretty much the statistics regarding deaths, and injuries, some of which are crippling, and compare those with things that are taking many more lives, is it really worth the trouble? I will never understand how that somehow justifies ignoring safety as a ‘concern’ and somehow we should all focus on the ‘worst things in life,’ but the truth is no one should ever die due to negligence with regards to safety. Why? Because if all people were behaving responsibly then there wouldn’t be any accidents, except perhaps due to mechanical malfunctions. As the world populations increase we will all be exposed to an ever increasing probability that we will have to witness some horrible accident resulting in serious injury or death, all which can be completely avoided. And that’s is truly the sad thing, that with care, we can all get to our destinations without the fear of an accident.

In the short term, the government could take the most serious offenders off the streets and put them through intensive training, but in the long term the only way to effectively deal with safety is to make it part of our academic system. It isn’t that hard to do, and doing so will not only help erase so much suffering, but also save countless billions in insurance claims and lost time.

Accidents are typically caused by at least one, if not more, people doing something risky, like double parking, passing on the wrong side of the road, jay walking, turning without using a signal, etc. With more empathy conditioning (concern for the other person), more training (repetitive responses built into our muscle memory), more understanding of social expectations (teaching of what is expected), everyone is capable of doing the right thing. Besides the practical results of less injuries and deaths, there certainly will be a savings in insurance payouts and premiums people pay, and the funny things is people will probably be able to get to their destinations faster and obviously with less stress.

Those who don’t learn about safety early have an increased probability of something happening to them as they get older. There is also an increased probability that they will affect someone else’s lives in a negative way.

And so Tommy has to wait a week before he learns what math is, but at least he has an increased chance to be here next week alive and well, to learn it, and a hugely proportional chance in the future to put it to use.

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Posted in General Knowledge, Parent Tips

Our basic pedestrian safety QUIZ

Basic Pedestrian Safety Quiz (click to take)

Don’t be shy, it’s only 6 questions and very easy.

Always look for the most safe answer and you should get a perfect score. It’s purpose it to help you understand when you do take a risk, you’ll know you are and why.

Posted in General Knowledge

What’s so hard to understand?

It surprises me when I see a car parked on a sidewalk or pedestrians having a conversation in the street or bike lane. Why is it so hard for some people to understand that there are areas built specifically for their use and obviously for their safety?

It’s easy enough to sympathize with people getting caught up in the moment and understand how they can forget about those things, but there is also a selfish aspect to it centered around what I believe is a combination of entitlement, laziness and ‘a savings of time.’
The ‘saving of time’ is the part where it is just more convenient to jay walk to your destination rather than walk the extra 30 feet to a cross walk, of course saving the extra 60 seconds, but if those people who consistently do this thought for a moment (which might be a better use of their time) they’d understand that the time is negligible and the potential harm they’re putting themselves in and others certainly isn’t worth even the perceived notion that it is safe.

Putting others in danger? Yes, if a car has to swerve because someone is jay walking or riding a bicycle dangerously that car could certainly become out of control and wreck into other people and/or property. It happens all the time in NYC where a taxi lands on a sidewalk, with most certainty that the person who caused the event scurrying out of the scene leaving the driver to explain by themselves what happened.

So why is it so hard for some people to understand this basic notion? It is obvious that most people take care of themselves and watch out for others, while a smaller percentage of people wander around without regard. Their reckless behavior always a threat, the bicyclist riding down the street the wrong way, a father unloading his children on the street side of his vehicle, a mother riding her bicycle with two 3 year old children hanging on for their little lives and cruising through red lights… the examples are everywhere to be witnessed, some minor and some frightening.

Could the reason be that some people are less empathetic for others, and thus perhaps focused on their own needs so much that they basically become blind to what’s right?

Let us be reminded by Dr. Phil who addresses the issue:

In her own words she doesn’t understand her own compulsion to do what she does, that she becomes anxious if she doesn’t behave the way she is. And that is the real challenge, getting through to people. The only way that can happen is to approach them when they are young, to build the foundation for future behavior, so that all people will have the tools to act appropriately. I have no doubt that unnecessary accidents would drop drastically if we incorporate a cirriculum into our schools at an early age as part of the tools our children need to live a positive and healthy life. It is a social world, and those living without those tools to interact in a healthy way are being blocked by the reactions of those around them. Everyone needs to know the same set basic rules and understand that when they break the rules they are initiating the breaking of rules by others who witness their behavior. Our community as one, lest we desire the horror of accidents as a way to enliven our experience on earth.

Here is a small sample of the positive that has grown out of my effort: A mother with 3 children used to double park in front of the school to let her children out. After seeing my parking handout she started parking two blocks away and walking her children to school. She said to me “I really love having the bit of exercise, being outside and having a chance to be with my children for a little bit before school (undistracted by driving no doubt).” She smiles and waves to me whenever we cross paths and I’m of course delighted that I’ve had a positive impact on her life. And to her credit it takes a strong person to change a long term habit towards something positive, that involves commitment, time and effort. In the end I didn’t do anything, she’s the one that took control of her life and is setting a positive example for her children.

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Posted in General Knowledge
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Welcome to Know The Fundamentals blog. Our mission is to find avenues for adults to teach children the fundamentals of safety, so they may have a lifetime free of tragic events. By instilling safe attitudes at a younger age, when they begin to drive, have families, or just live, they can pass on their knowledge through their example.

As an adult city dweller, you know that you have to keep alert to navigate the city safely. With years of experience on how to judge distance and speed, you're probably very good at it. Now imagine a child, who has little to no experience walking around our busy streets. Sounds dangerous, doesn't it? Take the time to teach them well, and if you're not a parent and don't have children, set a good example to those you see. Your example will probably save someone's life, at some point in their life.

Sidewalks, curbs, crosswalks, bicycles, vehicles, seniors, adults, parents and children, all interacting in real time. But children do not know the rules, so take the time to teach them well, and in the process enhance the quality of your relationship by engaging them through open communication about all sorts of topics. Know, and teach, the fundamentals. The challenge is yours, and that of a healthy community.

Teach your children the basics of safety and life, to give them the foundation for a positive, healthy and safe future. You love them, right? They deserve it, correct?

By teaching your child the basics of safety, you'll find that they will interact with others in a more considerate way. This will in turn help them become successful adults. With children lies the opportunity to help them with their foundation of knowledge. If you wait too long, the consequences may be too much to bear.
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