On the road, drivers must deal with constant traffic concerns, including glaring sunlight, blinding rain, traffic jams, street signs and other drivers. But one distraction you might not have thought about is your kids.
According to AAA, more than 1.5 million crashes have involved some kind of driver distraction, and 24 percent of crashes occur because of drivers having to deal with children in the back seat. Here are a few ways to keep the kids occupied the next time you hit the road.
* Books and children’s magazines: Time passes quickly when children are engrossed in a story. Take this opportunity to teach your children the importance of reading. If your kids can’t read in the car, try books on tape or compact discs.
* Crafts: Have the kids put together scrapbooks with items from the trip. Pack instant cameras, glue sticks, markers and construction paper to get them started.
* Puzzles, board games and cards: At first these activities might seem unfit for road trips, but many newer versions are designed for travel. These games either come in compact cases or with magnetic boards to keep pieces from being lost in the vehicle.
* On-screen entertainment: Increasing numbers of consumers are purchasing vehicles with liquid crystal display TV screens for passenger viewing. Today, not only can your kids play video games and watch DVDs in the car, they can catch their favorite television shows as well.
The TracVision A5, created by Rhode Island-based KVH Industries, lets you watch live television while on the road. This in-motion satellite television system has a low-profile antenna that mounts to the roof of the car and a compact satellite receiver stored in the trunk.
Compatible with DirecTV service, it provides hundreds of channels of satellite television and music. It’s also designed to be part of a versatile entertainment system that can include DVD players, VCRs, video game systems and digital video recorders.