Your sole connection to the road
My incredible Uvalde experience was sponsored by Continental Tire. Opinions are genuine, and mine.
When I think about safety behind the wheel, I think about car seats. I get car seats. I know how to shop car seats—I understand how to install and latch and position them to perfection. Car seats are my comfort zone.
Frankly, beyond my thorough knowledge of proper child restraint, I’ve been a passenger instead of a driver when it comes to vehicle and driving safety, relying on my husband to concern himself with the car and its tires.
And there they are, your tires.
Tires that I’ve been oblivious and indifferent toward. Tires, that are the only parts of your car that make contact with the road. Tires that are your first line of defense when you come face to face with a potential accident on the way to preschool on any given rainy weekday morning.
I held fast to my indifference toward tires right up until the drive team at Continental Tire’s Uvalde Proving Grounds in Uvalde, Texas put me behind the wheel of a car and told me to do a panic stop at 55mph on a wet track.
Panic? I have that part under control…
My palms were sweating and my heart raced as I pressed the gas pedal and brought the car up to speed.
I had no idea what would happen when I slammed on the brakes at a high speed. Would the car skid off the track, roll over, burst into flames? I’m being a bit dramatic, but honestly, I was unsure how the car would handle as I approached the cones that signaled me to stand on the brake.
My body was ablaze with adrenaline and fear on that first run.
I put a death-grip on the steering wheel and pounded the brake to the floor, holding my breath as the car struggled to come to a stop on the wet, glassy pavement.
My helmeted-head bounced against the headrest and I let out a huge breath as my passenger (another blogger) and I laughed and thanked God that we weren’t dead!
The car didn’t burst into flames or skid off the track. The car just did some sliding and then stopped. It was scary, but experiencing it in a controlled and safe environment gave me a new and profound perspective on driving, safety and tire performance.
We tested Continental’s new TrueContact tire against its closest competitors including a Goodyear, Bridgestone, and Michelin.
The experiences felt similar (but definitely not the same) as we tested each tire’s performance in a panic stop on the wet track, however, our vehicles were equipped with monitors that displayed the actual stopping distance of each tire, and the Continental TrueContact tire stops faster—on average of 30-40 feet shorter compared to the other tires.
You know, 30 feet can make the difference between having an accident and not having an accident, or between having an accident and having a REALLY BAD ACCIDENT.
This is significant. This means something to me.
Here is a little video I took of my driving-partner, Kristen Howerton from Rage Against the Minivan. This wasn’t her first run, note how her confidence had grown by the second try as she attempts to “go a little faster.” This experience did wonders for my confidence behind the wheel, and FYI, it was all super fun after that first run. SUPER FUN.
Uvalde Proving Grounds is a big place
Uvalde encompasses an impressive 5,000 acres, and my experience on the track at Uvalde last week is bigger than one blog post. If you were following along with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, you probably saw me making excited updates about helicopter rides, drifting and off-road buggy racing. All true, all pretty freaking amazing.
I’ll be sharing all of that soon, but today, I wanted to show you this tire. It’s the TrueContact from Continental Tire.
Without getting all sales-pitchy, I’ll tell you that the TrueContact was developed with families in mind. It’s an all-season touring tire that boasts competitiveness in fuel efficiency and long-wear, but what makes it special is the wet-braking performance, which was also what I tested at Uvalde.
A representative for Continental stood in front of us and said:
“We want to rate well in fuel efficiency and durability, but we want to lead in wet-braking.”
We’re on the same page, Continental. While I love the idea of saving money, what I love more is the idea of choosing a tire that I know for a FACT performs better in a panic stop.
Again, this is significant, and as the mother of two, this means something to me.
Also? The fact that I just wrote an impassioned 800-word blog post about tires makes me laugh. Thank you, Continental Tire, for the empowering experience, and to my readers, stay tuned for more about my once-in-a-lifetime adventures at Uvalde—there’s so much more to share!