When I heard the sirens I knew the jig was up. While driving near a local shopping mall, I swerved my car violently as I attempted to reprimand my kids in the backseat of my car. I turned around to say something my mother had said a thousand times to me as a kid, “Don’t make me pull this car over!” As soon as the words were out of my mouth, the police were asking me to pull over.
Thankfully, the officer could see how flustered I was. “I know you were dealing with your kids, but try to be a little more careful,” he said, while my kids sat quietly for the first time all day. “I’ll let you go with a warning.”
There are so many challenges that mothers face when they get behind the wheel. Heck, even before we turn the car on there’s the challenge of making sure that everyone is in place and that everything (car seats, snacks, hand sanitizer, diaper bags, etc.) required for the trip is gathered. Once we mothers do that, we’re exhausted and in need of a Red Bull for the journey.
In an effort to significantly improve the lives of those who are being driven out of their minds (literally), below is a list of the top ten auto features and accessories for moms.
1. Holders For Everything – Storage areas for key travel items (pocketbooks, cell phones, sun glasses) are inexpensive features to aren’t costly to include in cars. More auto manufacturers are beginning to understand what a woman wants. The BMW X5 has a convenient cell phone holder , the Ford Flex has a mini-refrigerator, the Chrysler Town & Country has in-floor storage and the Volvo S60 has innovative holders for sunglasses and shopping bags.
2. Parking Assistance – Using sight and sound, sensors and cameras make backing up and parking much easier and safer, too. How often have mothers backed into disregarded bicycles and hard to see basketball hoops in their own driveways? Parking aids and cameras provide never before seen rear views and urgent audio warnings that virtually remove the possibility of foreign objects connecting with our cars.
3. Navigation Systems – While MapQuest has been helpful in the past, there is nothing like a reliable navigation system to get you from point A to point B – with real-time arrival estimates, local restaurant listings and more! System advancements such as traffic warnings and alternate routes ensure that you’ll never have to ask for directions again.
4. DVD Players With Wireless Headsets – A wonderful upgrade for any vehicle is a DVD player (or two). Wireless headsets allow your kids to enjoy their favorite movies again and again without driving you insane. Moms can enjoy a rare quiet ride or listen to the music that they enjoy. Books on CD are also fantastic for kids too because they stir their imagination as the narration, unique character voices tell the story.
5. Tire Pressure Monitoring System – Since low tire pressure is the primary cause of tire failure, tire pressure monitoring systems are vital to mothers driving with children. These systems inform drivers when tire pressure is low, allowing tires to be properly maintained and accidents reduced.
6. Overhead Convex Mirror – Also called a “conversation mirror,” this convex reflector allows you to see everything that’s going on in the back seat – without turning around. Enough said! Car-Ma Coach® Lauren Fix recommends a 5-panel Wink Mirror for about $20 which you can purchase online.
7. Keyless Entry/Keyless Trunk– Tired of searching for your car keys in the bottom of that oversized handbag? Keyless entry doors eliminate the need. Simply touch the door handle and the door unlocks on its own. In some luxury models, it is unnecessary to insert the key into the ignition once you’re inside. Just push a button and “voila!” you’re on your way.
8. Soft-Close Doors – For those of us who have experienced the pain of having our fingers caught in car doors as kids, the soft close feature eliminates this unfortunate and highly likely rite of passage for our children. Gently close the car door and the car slowly completes the sealing process for you.
9. Emergency Trunk Release – Eliminate the possibility of children locking themselves in the trunk of your car with this life saving device – a federal law in new cars beginning with the 2002 model year. Visible from inside a car’s closed trunk via a lighted electronic push button or a glow in the dark manual pull, this device instantly releases the trunk latch freeing potential hide-and-seekers.
10. Automatic Shades – Ever try to get a baby to sleep in the back seat of your car when the sun is brightly shining? It’s almost impossible. But with automatic sun shades installed on your auto’s side windows, you’ll be able to instantaneously darken and cool the cabin of your car when driving at naptime.
Purchase these items, or select a car with these items, and your life as family chauffeur instantly becomes manageable. And you’ll reduce your Red Bull intake by half, guaranteed!!
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