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Dear Crissy - Life, blogged.

Your sole connection to the road

My incredible Uvalde experience was sponsored by Continental Tire. Opinions are genuine, and mine.

Your sole connection to the road #ContinentalMom #ForWhatYouDo

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.

[Tweet “Your tires are the only parts of your car that make contact with the road. #ForWhatYouDo #ContinentalMom”]

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…

Your sole connection to the road #ContinentalMom #ForWhatYouDo

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!

Your sole connection to the road #ContinentalMom #ForWhatYouDo

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.

Your sole connection to the road #ContinentalMom #ForWhatYouDo

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!

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21 Comments

  1. April 17, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

    I’m with you that I never gave much thought to the tires on my car either! It sounds like you had an amazing adventure and stepped out of your comfort zone. Bravo!

    I can only imagine what it was like to be going that fast and having to slam on the brakes. I would have been terrified too lol!

    We are looking at getting new tires on my car. I’ll have to see if Continental Tire is available in our area.

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  2. April 17, 2014 @ 3:19 pm

    This was such an incredible experience and I am so glad that I got a chance to share it with you. It was definitely an eye opening experience and a step Way out of the “mom” comfort zone to say the least. I am so proud of you for braving through the high speeds, sudden stops and open helicopter ride. Lol. Hopefully we get to do it again really soon.

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  3. April 17, 2014 @ 3:22 pm

    What an exciting adventure! I am sure I would have been screaming with excitement on that ride. You really never think of how very important your tires are, but you have to think of what you are riding on.

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  4. April 17, 2014 @ 3:39 pm

    I am the same way about my car. I got all of the stuff on the inside covered. I need to worry more about my tires.

    It was fun to watch your adventure and it has really made me think twice when it comes to buying tires and protecting my family.

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  5. April 17, 2014 @ 3:46 pm

    It’s amazing how much we rely on our tires… without even thinking about it. I think the fact that “tires are your first line of defense” really hits home. As a mom to many, I want to ensure my family is safe. Tires are now a priority when I think of safety. Thanks for the insight!

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  6. April 17, 2014 @ 3:53 pm

    I never think about tires. Thanks goodness for husbands!

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  7. April 17, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

    I’ve enjoyed following your trip and learning more about these tires. I know I need new tires for my car, even I brake my steering wheel shakes and it’s getting worse. I can’t put it off any longer. I would have been scared if I was told to do a hard brake on a wet surface at 55. I will definitely be looking into the Continental Tire brand.

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  8. April 17, 2014 @ 4:26 pm

    That is terrifying I would have DIED! But my mom always told me, don’t skimp on tires and shoes, they’re all that you’ve got between you and the ground. So yeah, it sounds crazy but I am totally all about having good tires! LOL!!

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  9. April 17, 2014 @ 4:44 pm

    First of all, I love Kristen Howerton. What a neat opportunity to go out on a test track and do the panic stop. I’ve had to do a few in real life and it’s really scary! TIres are so important, and I know I don’t really put enough weight into that. Thanks for the reminder and important info.

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  10. April 17, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

    WOW WOW WOW!! That looks scary, yet so fun! I’d love to try that in controlled conditions like that!!

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  11. April 17, 2014 @ 6:44 pm

    I totally get how you can write an impassioned blog post about tires! Living in Vancouver, BC, we LIVE in the rain. And braking on those wet streets can be scary. I want tires that STOP when I tell them to!

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  12. April 17, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

    I loved following your journey! Looks like you had an absolute blast and learned a lot. We need to shop for new tires for our wagon and we’ve been looking at different brands. I’ll have to see what Continental has for us.

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  13. April 17, 2014 @ 8:44 pm

    What an awesome and exhilarating experience Crissy! Fabulous that you conquered your fears and learned something new in the process. Car stuff is really intimidating!

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  14. April 17, 2014 @ 9:14 pm

    I love the way you broke it down, “tires are your sole connection to the road.” I have never thought about it like that before. It makes me rethink all of my tire purchases that were driven by price; the cheapest one. Not anymore…

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  15. April 17, 2014 @ 9:31 pm

    What a cool experience. We had scare on black ice this winter and have decided to upgrade our tires. Maybe a road safety course would help too!

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  16. April 18, 2014 @ 12:57 am

    We should all have to experience something like this. I had a scary experience on a rainy night and I’m not sure what would have happened if I hadn’t had quality, in good shape, tires on my car. Now that I chauffeur around such precious cargo, tire safety is even more important to me!

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  17. April 18, 2014 @ 6:53 am

    This totally makes me want to buy new tires for both our cars. So much good information here. Thank you for sharing this.

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  18. April 18, 2014 @ 9:01 am

    I have to admit – I read blogs for many reasons. An outlet to escape. A way to figure out what I’m cooking for dinner. But this post — this post really hit home with me. I NEVER think about my tires. EVER!! You just LITERALLY opened my eyes. I only EVER worry about the car seats… but there is so much more. Thank you for this. Truly an unexpected and PERFECT read.

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  19. April 18, 2014 @ 9:57 am

    Pretty awesome, Crissy. Thank you for sharing!

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  20. April 18, 2014 @ 11:59 am

    I am the same way, when it comes to seats – I know all. the car and especially the tires – nada! I’d be just as scared as you were {love the videos!!} but I bet you learned a ton and will now be a better driver because of it. We need new tires soon, I’m showing this to my husband. It’s better to choose great now then regret it later!!

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  21. April 18, 2014 @ 7:47 pm

    Was so great to experience this with you! And damn, you are so much more organized. I need to get my booty together and write my post.

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