While traversing the Alaska Range from Black Rapids to Healy, my team ran into these hunters on horseback near an old bus beside Healy Creek. Turns out one of them lives just a few miles from me in Delta! Photo Courtesy Steven Miley Photography
New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that when a teen driver has only teen passengers in their vehicle, the fatality rate for all people involved in a crash increased 51 percent. In contrast, when older passengers (35 or older) ride with a teen driver, overall fatality rates in crashes decreased eight percent. Considering the increased risk created by a combination of teen drivers and teen passengers, AAA emphasizes the need for teen drivers to gain adequate supervised training, especially in different driving scenarios.
In 2016, teen drivers were involved in more than 1 million police-reported crashes resulting in more than 3,200 deaths. Researchers pinpointed that when teens were carrying teen passengers, fatality rates jumped:
◦56 percent for occupants of other vehicles
◦45 percent for the teen driver
◦17 percent for pedestrians and cyclists
In Alaska in 2016 there were 11 fatalities in crashes involving teen drivers – 6 were drivers, 4 were passengers of teen drivers, and 1 was the occupant of another vehicle, according to federal government data.
“Teens lack experience behind the wheel, which increases the odds of a deadly outcome, not just for the teen driver, but for their passengers and others on the roadways,” said Michelle Donati, spokesperson for AAA Alaska. “Parents of teens must take this rite of passage seriously by setting and consistently enforcing rules to limit teenage passengers in the vehicle.”
Supervised driving – with parents in the passenger seat as the coach – is the first step to teaching teens how to become responsible and safe drivers. AAA offers a multitude of resources at TeenDriving.AAA.com to help coach teen drivers, in addition to these tips: •Require teens to log at least 100 hours of supervised practice driving with a parent before driving solo.
•Begin by practicing driving in low-risk situations and gradually move to situations that are more complex: highways, nighttime, driving in the rain, and on and around challenging roadways (e.g., curves).
•Allow no more than one non-family passenger under the age of 20 to ride with the teen driver during the first six months of driving.
•Use slightly different routes each practice session.
•Practice adjusting speed based on three factors: visibility, on-road traffic and different road conditions.
“Strong coaching and diversity in practice driving sessions are key when teens have their learners permit,” Donati said. “And, once teens have their license, consistent parental involvement is essential.”
About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org.
About the study: Data used in the Everyone’s at Risk 2018 brief came from the 2016 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the Crash Report Sampling Survey System (CRSS). The FARS database includes all motor vehicle crashes on public roadways that resulted in a fatality within 30 days of crash. The CRSS database is a nationally representative probability sample of all police-reported crashed in the United States.
About AAA Alaska: We are more than our legendary fleet of tow trucks, auto, home, life insurance and travel services. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the communities we serve, offering smarter solutions that improve traffic safety and helping the public adapt to a fast-changing mobility landscape. Learn more at AAA.com.
(TANANA, Alaska) – Two years after the official opening of the Road to Tanana, the road has brought down the cost of travel and freight to the middle Yukon. The 33-mile road, a continuation of Tofty Road, which runs north and west of Manley Hot Springs, was completed in August 2016. In addition to providing increased access to Tanana, the road is also being used to provide more options to transport people and freight farther downriver, reducing costs for other Yukon River communities.
“As we dealt with the fiscal crisis we worked to identify opportunities for collaboration with stakeholders,” said Governor Bill Walker. “The Road to Tanana is a successful example of how the State of Alaska can partner with local governments, tribes, and native corporations to increase access to rural communities.”
“We are excited to see the residents of Tanana enjoy the benefits of cheaper freight and travel,” said Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) Commissioner Marc Luiken. “I look forward to continue working with all our partners into the future.”
The reduced cost of travel in particular has been a significant benefit for the community of Tanana. “People are excited to bring in their whole families for native gatherings, potlatches, funerals, festivities. It’s hundreds of dollars for one plane ticket versus just jumping in the truck,” said Cynthia Erickson, owner of Tanana Commercial. “Now you can bring your kids, your whole family.”
Regular maintenance of the Road to Tanana ended on Oct. 1 and will begin again in the spring when DOT&PF operators out of the Manley maintenance station open the road in coordination with the establishment of an ice road that is maintained by the City of Tanana. Winter road maintenance is a collaborative effort between the tribe, the city, and the state.
DOT&PF considers the Road to Tanana a “pioneer road,” meaning drivers can expect rugged conditions. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is required for winter travel and appropriate safety and survival gear is recommended. The road, which ends on the south banks of the Yukon River, about six miles from the City of Tanana, is one lane with periodic pull-outs and no designated parking areas.
To learn more about the road’s construction and its significance to the community of Tanana, please watch this video recently produced and distributed by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials or visit our website.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 239 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, over 5,600 miles of highway and 731 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
ANCHORAGE, Alaska. Oct. 16, 2018. If you’re wondering when to book your Thanksgiving or Christmas flights, AAA has the answer. The full-service travel agency analyzed three years of flight booking data to determine the most popular air travel days and the best time to book flights this holiday season.
“Anything that makes getting through an airport easier is a good thing during the holidays,” said Michelle Donati, spokesperson for AAA Alaska. “By knowing the best time to book and the best days to travel, consumers can save money and reduce the stress of holiday travel.”
To assist travelers in making smarter travel decisions, AAA suggests consumers start by booking flights on off travel days, like:
•The Monday before Thanksgiving: Historically, the Monday before Thanksgiving (November 19) is a lighter air travel day, making this the best option for travelers to save on airfare. The average ticket price for this date hovers around $465.
Conversely, Tuesday and Wednesday directly preceding Thanksgiving are travel days to avoid. November 20 and 21 mark the most popular travel days of the holiday week, which means travelers will face high airfare costs. Tickets for these dates average $509 and $507, respectively.
•Christmas Eve: Regardless of the day of the week Christmas falls on, most travelers depart two or three days before the holiday. That means this year, Saturday, December 22 and Sunday, December 23 will be the busiest and most expensive days to travel.
Travelers open to flying on lighter travel days, like Christmas Eve (Monday, December 24), will save 9 percent, with airfare averaging $512.
While many believe that booking holiday travel in advance is the only way to save big on preferred flights, AAA’s analysis showed the opposite:
•There is a sweet spot for savings: Travelers who book 61-90 days before Christmas (between September 23 and October 25) will save up to $100 per ticket.
•Booking holiday travel in advance also has its pros and cons: Although booking ahead can help ensure the best flight availability, travelers who booked their Thanksgiving flights over the summer (between July 25 and September 22) paid an extra $39 per ticket. Travelers who booked their Christmas flights six months or more prior to the holiday paid and extra $98 per ticket.
•Procrastination can work out in your favor: Those open to last minute planning might be able to find a bargain. In fact, according to analysis, travelers that booked 7-13 days prior to Thanksgiving (November 9 through November 15) and Christmas (December 12 through December 18) paid the lowest airfares on average per holiday, with tickets averaging $459 and $488, respectively.
“While procrastinating may unearth cheaper fares, it’s important to remember that gamble will likely come with limited flight availability,” Donati said.
For more information or to book your upcoming holiday travel, visit aaa.com/travel.
About AAA Alaska
We are more than our legendary fleet of tow trucks, auto, home, life insurance and travel services. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the communities we serve, offering smarter solutions that improve traffic safety and helping the public adapt to a fast-changing mobility landscape. Learn more at AAA.com.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Yesterday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a Joint Record of Decision (ROD) with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) for the Greater Mooses Tooth 2 (GMT2) project, continued production of oil and gas from federal lands in the 22.8-million acre National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).
“We are proud of the collaborative efforts that resulted in this milestone for responsible energy development,” said BLM Alaska Acting State Director Ted Murphy. “The contributions of numerous stakeholders, especially Alaska Native communities, was key to bringing this project to competion.”
In August 2015, ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. (ConocoPhillips) submitted an application to the BLM to permit a 14-acre pad and up to 48 wells, an 8.2-mile road, and an 8.6-mile pipeline connecting GMT2 with GMT1. ConocoPhillips anticipates starting construction of GMT2 during the winter of 2018-2019 and expects the site to be in production for 30 years from 2020-2050. ConocoPhillips estimates that the approximately 40,000 barrels of oil produced per day will result in royalties amounting to roughly $2.13 billion, with payments shared among the resource owners.
The project will provide substantial economic benefits to Alaska Native Corporations that own a significant portion of the subsurface mineral estate while also delivering an essential product to support America’s future energy needs.
The JROD includes supplemental best management practices, in addition to those required by the NPR-A Integrated Activity Plan, as well as project design features to reduce impacts.
Some of the additional best management practices required by the JROD include requiring wildlife protection measures for fleet and aircraft traffic; establishing agreements to ensure Native communities have access to roads for subsistence purposes; and monitoring of wildlife populations, habitat, and ecosystem processes potentially impacted by the development.
Currently, 199 authorized leases cover 1,384,352 acres in the NPR-A. Bids received for the 13 lease sales since 1999 have generated more than $282 million.
A notice of availability for the Final Supplemental EIS for the Alpine Satellite Development Plan for the Greater Mooses Tooth 2 Development Project was published in the Federal Register on Sept. 5, 2018.
All documents detailing this decision are available on the BLM website at https://www.blm.gov/alaska.
Bureau of Land Management, Alaska State Office, Office of Communications
An old trailer rotting away somewhere in Delta. The trees surrounding it left streaks on the exterior as they grew. Photo Courtesy Steven Miley Photography
HEADQUARTERS, U.S. ARMY ALASKA, FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska – Travelers between Delta Junction and Fort Wainwright should expect possible heavy convoy traffic Tuesday, Oct. 16, as a large group of Army vehicles returns to post from exercise Arctic Anvil.
Beginning at noon, five separate 16-vehicle convoys from the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division will depart from the Donnelly Training Area on their way to Fort Wainwright with a 30-minute window between each group of vehicles. Drivers are asked to plan accordingly and exercise patience with any traffic disruptions.
The rest of the vehicles returning to Fort Wainwright are scheduled to begin departing the Delta Junction Area from Oct. 21-27. More information about those movements will be announced at a later date.
There will also be some convoy traffic headed south along the Richardson and Glenn highways between Oct. 21-27 as soldiers and vehicles from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division and the 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion return to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Public Affairs Office