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Winter Driving Tips 2018

October 19th, 2018

Winter Driving

Brace yourselves! Winter is coming. The cold, snow, and ice kind. Meteorologists may debate the amounts and proportions of each measure but we know it means danger and darkness on the road. With Anchorage being a fast moving city with a few quirks of its own the driving danger is compounded. Continental posted a helpful driving tips list last year and received lots of helpful suggestions from local drivers. We’ve curated and updated the list and present it to thoughtful drivers everywhere.

Put down the phone.
Your focus is critical, even at stop lights. Use hands-free tech and keep your eyes and attention focused on the road around you.

Anchorage drivers run the yellow and, as a result, sometimes the red lights too.
Don’t be too eager to pull forward on a green. Like a pedestrian look left, look right before crossing the intersection.

Stop early, leave some space.
When stopping at red lights, you’ll want to stop early and then creep forward as cars approach from behind. Paying attention to approaching vehicles will allow you to give a little extra space to avoid a serious accident.

Be a good neighbor, clear your roof.
It’s easy to hit the remote-start and hit the road when the window is defrosted. Take a moment to clear the snow and ice from the hood and roof. Blowing snow cuts visibility and chunks of debris create hazards for motorists behind you.

All-wheel drive isn’t all-wheel stop.
All-wheel drive systems only provide assistance when accelerating. They offer no advantage when braking. Be sure you’re running a good winter tire for Anchorage’s icy intersections.

Slow down.
Posted speed limits are for dry conditions. Oddly enough, moose enjoy winter weather and do not care about the parent-teacher meeting you’re late for.

Headlights.
Anchorage is really well lit and folks can largely ignore what’s going on with their headlamps. Still, you’ll want to check to be sure they are actually on and not just the interior lights. Also, be sure to check your high-beam position. Many drivers like the brighter lights and even when they don’t match the intensity of Bi-Xenon or LED lights, high-beam usage focuses the light directly into oncoming traffic.

Tailgating is bad.
Leave space to stop. Tailgating takes options such as braking or lane changes away from other drivers to be able to avoid accidents.

Plan for the unexpected.
Have an exit plan of where to go. Always be aware of your environment and surroundings—parking lots, people, vehicles, animals, trees, shrubs… everything.

Sunglasses.
Yes! Sunglasses. Polarized specifically. They’ll help cut ice glare and improve visibility in conditions other than bright sun. Yellow/bronze lenses can help brighten and sharpen visual acuity on cloudy days.

Avoid sudden, exaggerated movements.
A skid can be initiated when the inertia of the vehicle is different that the direction wheels are heading. Take your foot off the gas, don’t slam the brakes. Turn into the skid and steer the vehicle back to the desired direction.

Check the conditions.
Us the online tools Alaska511 for road conditions and Anchorage Police Nixle alerts do a good job of informing drivers of current conditions. Check out the Facebook group, “Glenn Highway Traffic Report” for user-generated reports about road conditions between Anchorage and the MatSu.
Alaska 511
Facebook Group - Glenn Highway Traffic Report
Sign up for Anchorage Nixle alerts

Keep a coat and gloves in the car.
We’re Alaskan, we’re tough and acclimated to quick bursts from the house to the car. Don’t get stuck responding, or worse, in an accident without some gear. Add a first aid kit, flares, and some hand warmers to be prepared.

Turn off lane keep assist.
If your vehicle is equipped with Pilot Assist, lane keep and other assistive technologies drivers may consider deactivating the technologies that automatically steer the vehicle—the ruts in the roads confuse the systems and can steer vehicles into guardrails or ditches.

Avoid cruise control.
Even roads that look clear can have sudden slippery spots which often triggers cruise control to accelerate erratically. Using the brake on these spots will could cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle.
2018 Update: Automated safety equipment that attempts to steer your vehicle, such as ‘Lane Keep’ assist, should be turned off to avoid unintended skids. These systems will, overall, avoid accidents, but they can get confused with the snow tracks and may unexpectedly steer your vehicle into another lane or off road.

Invest in good wipers.
A good winter wiper can help maintain visibility in heavy snow conditions. Also, use a winterized washer fluid. Wipers on = lights on.

Winter tires.
Winter tires —studded or studless— offer the best traction because the rubber is designed to remain pliable in cold weather. Snow tires also offer siping and big blocks to power through snow. Silica helps rubber grip the ice. Continental has good prices and free installation


We Shop The Competition for Winter Tires 2018

October 17th, 2018

Are you Ready For Winter

Termination dust is creeping down the mountains and winter is beginning to show signs it will, in fact, arrive despite any attempts to avoid it. Brisk mornings bring thoughts of ice, frost, and snow. It’s time to change over to your winter tires! (Continental has our specials posted here Tire Change Over Specials.) But, perhaps, this year, you find yourself in need of a new set? We’ve got you covered with effective and affordable Toyo winter tires. The popular studded Toyo Observe G3-Ice competes in the top-tier of the Consumer Reports rankings and performs very well in driving conditions that affect Anchorage. Not convinced they’re for you? Toyo offers a 45-day or 500-mile ‘No Regrets’ return policy—simply return them, we’ll help you find something you will like!

We’re pretty sure you’ll love the Toyo tires on their own but we know the price is always a factor. For that reason, we also shop the competition to be sure our customers always get a great value. The most tire for the best price, with free installation, shuttle service, and Kaladi Bros. coffee.

Store Studded Tire
Price
Studless Tire
Price
Mount & Balance
Included
Shuttle Service
Alaska Tire Service Hankook RW11
$757.80
Blizzak
$957.80
$15 Fee
Alyeska Tire Norman 7
$984.80
Nokia R2
$1124.80
No Shuttle
American Tire & Auto Hankook iPike
$760
Blizzak
$837
No Shuttle
Anchorage Tire Factory Nokian Hakka 9
$1118
Nokian Hakka R2
$962.96
No Shuttle
KD Discount Tire Master Brand
$750
Master Brand
$680
No Shuttle
Continental Tire & Auto Toyo G3-ICE
$672.50
Toyo GSi-5
$668.08


Reference vehicle: 2018 Honda CR-V • 235/60R18 • Shopped October 1, 2018
Prices include installation but do not include fees for tire disposal.


Country Cares

February 2nd, 2018

St. Jude Country Cares radio-thon aired on Anchorage’s KBEAR 104.1 and Continental.

Since 2013, Continental has proudly sponsored the annual St. Jude Country Cares radio-thon aired on Anchorage’s KBEAR 104.1. Each January, KBRJ’s on air team goes live for two days sharing the message and mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital of Finding Cures. This year, the Anchorage community along with KBRJ raised $83,000 over the course of two days! Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from individual contributors, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving children’s lives regardless of their financial situation. St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and from around the world and freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use the knowledge to save thousands more children. Over the past 22 years, Alaskan’s have contributed over 1.9 Million dollars to support the research and families of children that have been diagnosed with cancer.

This year, the Anchorage community along with KBRJ raised $83,000 over the course of two days!

Winter Driving Tips for Anchorage

October 17th, 2017
snow roads

Every city seems to have it’s own driving dynamic. Anchorage is a fast moving city with a few road quirks and light traffic enforcement—and most of the time we like it this way. When conditions are good it’s a hard charging city with people on the move and no apologies. Winter exacerbates our hard charging behavior into explosive accidents.

Even when a driver does everything correctly, another driver’s inexperience or inattentive behavior can suddenly and severely change the driving dynamic for everyone.

Help yourself navigate the rules-of-the-road and winter driving in Anchorage with these key observations and tips.

Put down the phone.
Focus is critical, even at stop lights. Use hands-free tech and keep your eyes and attention focused on the road around you.

Anchorage drivers run the yellow and, as a result, sometimes the red lights too.
Don’t be too eager to pull forward on a green. Like a pedestrian look left, look right before crossing the intersection.

Stop early, leave some space.
When stopping at red lights, you’ll want to stop early and then creep forward as cars approach from behind. Paying attention to approaching vehicles will allow you to give a little extra space to avoid a serious accident.

Be a good neighbor, clear your roof.
It’s easy to hit the remote-start and hit the road when the window is defrosted. Take a moment to clear the snow and ice from the hood and roof. Blowing snow cuts visibility and chunks of debris create hazards for motorists behind you.

All-wheel drive isn’t all-wheel stop.
All-wheel drive systems only provide assistance when accelerating. They offer no advantage when braking. Be sure you’re running a good winter tire for Anchorage’s icy intersections.

Slow down.
Posted speed limits are for dry conditions. Oddly enough, moose enjoy winter weather and do not care about the parent-teacher meeting you’re late for.

Tailgating is bad.
Leave space to stop. Tailgating takes options such as braking or lane changes away from other drivers to be able to avoid accidents.

Plan for the unexpected.
Have an exit plan of where to go. Always be aware of your environment and surroundings—parking lots, people, moving vehicles, animals, trees, shrubs… everything.

Sunglasses.
Yes! Sunglasses. Polarized specifically. They’ll help cut ice glare and improve visibility in conditions other than bright sun.

Avoid sudden, exaggerated movements.
A skid can be initiated when the inertia of the vehicle is different that the direction wheels are heading. Take your foot off the gas, don’t slam the brakes. Turn into the skid and steer the vehicle back to the desired direction.

Check the conditions.
Us the online tools Alaska511 for road conditions and Anchorage Police Nixle alerts do a good job of informing drivers of current conditions. Check out the Facebook group, “Glenn Highway Traffic Report” for user generated reports about road conditions between Anchorage and the MatSu.

http://511.alaska.gov/alaska511/mappingcomponent/index

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1399558000295842/

http://www.nixle.com

Keep a coat and gloves in the car.
We’re Alaskan, we’re tough and acclimated to quick bursts from the house to the car. Don’t get stuck responding, or worse, in an accident without some gear. Add a first aid kit, flares, and some hand warmers to be prepared.

Turn off lane keep assist.
If your vehicle is equipped with Pilot Assist, lane keep and other assistive technologies drivers may consider deactivating the technologies that automatically steer the vehicle—the ruts in the roads confuse the systems and can steer vehicles into guardrails or ditches.

Avoid cruise control.
Even roads that look clear can have sudden slippery spots which often triggers cruise control to accelerate erratically. Using the brake on these spots will could cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle.

Invest in good wipers.
A good winter wiper can help maintain visibility in heavy snow conditions. Also, use a winterized washer fluid. Wipers on = lights on.

Winter tires.
Studded or studless winter tires offer the best traction because the rubber is designed to remain pliable in cold weather. Snow tires also offer siping and big blocks to power through snow.

Winter is dangerous for for all drivers but it’s especially hard for those who’ve never experienced it behind the wheel. With some common sense, remaining observant and a little luck we’ll get through it together. Be safe out there.


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