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Toll-Free (866) 465-2095
716 W. 4th St., Ste. 370
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 269-0242 fax
State Capitol Bldg. Rm. 426
Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 465-3810 fax
EMAIL: Gov. Sean Parnell
Senator Mark Begich,
EMAIL: Sen. Mark Begich
Congressman Don Young,
EMAIL: Rep. Don Young
Senator Lisa Murkowski,
November 3, 2011
Winter Driving Safety:
Icy Roads Require Extra Caution
Now that the snow has finally arrived, I thought I would take a moment to remind everyone that we should use extra caution over the next few weeks as we adjust to the new winter driving conditions. I have found the following list of winter driving tips provided by the American Automobile Association to be very informative, and I hope you will take a few moments to read them:
AAA recommends the following winter driving tips:
- Avoid driving while you're fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
- Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
- Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
- Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
- If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
- Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
- Always look and steer where you want to go.
- Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
Tips for long-distance winter trips:
- Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
- Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
- Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
- Pack a cellular telephone with your local AAA's telephone number, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
- If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don't try to walk in a severe storm. It's easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
- Don't over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
- Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
- Make sure the exhaust pipe isn't clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
- Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
- If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.
Tips for driving in the snow:
Rep. Chris Tuck and Sen. Kevin Meyer present Ron Jordan with a Legislative Citation honoring his many accomplishments and service to the community. Mr. Jordan served for four years the U.S. Navy, including an assignment in Vietnam. He was President of the Taku-Campbell Community Council for six years, and has also served as treasurer for the Alaska Moose Federation. He and his family are active volunteers with the Alaska Health Fair, and he continues to volunteer at Turnagain Elementary School, where his oldest grandchild attends school.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don't try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
- Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning - nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
- The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
- Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
- Don't stop if you can avoid it. There's a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
- Don't power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.
- Don't stop going up a hill. There's nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
- Stay home. If you really don't have to go out, don't. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don't tempt fate: If you don't have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.
Your Community Council Needs You!
One of the very best ways to get involved and make a difference in your neighborhood is to attend the monthly meetings of your local community council. From making decisions about neighborhood improvements, to sharing your thoughts and opinions with state and local officials, the community council is where it all happens—to become a voting member all you have to do is attend. Here are the times and locations of local community council meetings for this month:
Bayshore-Klatt Community Council
Thursday, November 3
Bayshore Club House (3131 Amber Bay Loop)
Taku-Campbell Community Council
Thursday, November 10
Dimond Center Hotel
Abbott Loop Community Council
Thursday, January 26
Abbott Loop Elementary School (8427 Lake Otis Parkway)
Note: this council is not meeting in November or December.
Free Safe Driving Classes for Veterans in November
The AARP Driver Safety Program is having a Veterans Promotion for the month of November. All Safe Driving Classes will be free of charge for any veteran, their spouse or dependent. They need to present some form of military identification, including but not limited to Military ID (retired, active-duty, guard, reserve), discharge papers, American Legion/VFW card, dependent ID card, etc.
Call 1-888-227-7669 for more information
Live Homework Help Connects Tutors to Students 7 Days a Week
Live Homework Help connects experienced, vetted live tutors with students needing help with their school assignments. It’s available on the Statewide Library Electronic Doorway. Libraries and schools are encouraged to put a link on their websites. The URL is http://sled.alaska.edu/homework.
Coffee with Chris Continues
Don’t forget that that I am continuing my annual winter tradition of hosting weekly morning coffee meetings so I can get to know you better and learn how to better represent you in the Alaska Legislature.
Please join me for coffee through every Tuesday morning from 7-7:30 at the Elim Café at 561 W. Dimond Blvd. These meetings will continue from now through the month of December.
You are most welcome to attend any or all of these meetings. I hope to see you there!
Thank you for taking the time to read this update! As always, send me an email or call my office any time at 269-0240 if I can provide you with further assistance with this or any other issue.
I'm here for you,
Alaska State Representative
District 29 – Anchorage