'I always think what if?' A Central California mother credits a car seat safety class for saving her kids' lives

Sunday, April 7, 2019
Madera mother credits a car seat safety class for saving her kids' lives
The majority of American parents do not have their car seats properly installed. Jessica Martinez was one of them until the morning of the crash.

FRESNO, Calif. -- Jessica Martinez is a no-nonsense type of mother.

"See how it doesn't move? You pull on it, and you feed it," she said.

She's gone to several car-seat demonstration classes since her kids were born.

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Those lessons saved their lives.

"To me, it is a big deal because I travel a lot. I'm mostly on the road every day," she said.

Jessica recently bought a new car seat for her daughter. But the little girl kept finding ways to slip out of her harness.

RELATED: Mom's image of horrific car accident shows the importance of car seats

Last Saturday, Jessica decided it was best to switch back to the original seat.

"I always think what if? That's exactly what happened that morning, what if?" she said.

As Jessica was nearing the curve on Tozer Road near Avenue 15 that day, she lost control of her van.

Her car rolled into a field and landed on its roof. Her two kids didn't suffer a scratch.

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"Thank goodness I'm alive, I'm here to tell a story. Hopefully, my story will help someone else," Martinez said.

The national average for car seat misuse is over 70 percent.

Last year, less than a thousand parents in the Valley took advantage of free checkups and classes.

"It's not even should I? It's you have to," she said.

For Jessica, the hours and patience have been well worth the time.

You can schedule a free appointment with a child passenger safety technician at your local CHP office or police agency.