Choosing to start a family requires a variety of life changes. Before becoming parents, adults often change the choices that they make. The primary rationale behind many of these changes is safety. New parents want to keep themselves safe, and even more so, want to keep their young children safe too.
Responsible parents choose cars with airbags and seat belts and head restraints. They also look at crash ratings, specifically results from frontal, side, and rollover tests. The better the score, the better parents feel about purchasing that vehicle. However, safety isn’t the only factor that should be considered when choosing the right family car.
What to Look for When Choosing the Right Car for Your Family
Though safety is important when considering what car to buy for your growing family, there are other things to look for in a family car. And for parents that are looking to sell a car with a broken engine so that they can purchase a new or newer vehicle that is better for their family, this list of eight tricks will be quite useful.
- This may seem obvious, but the first thing to look at is seating. If there aren’t enough seats, then there is no reason to look any further. Busy moms and dads need room for their children, but often for their children’s friends.
- Purchasers should look at storage. Kids take up a lot of space and their things take up even more. Some of the best family vehicles offer ample trunk space plus nooks and crannies where small items can be tucked away. Cup holders are also a helpful bonus as children tend to have sippy cups or water bottles available for them whenever they are on the go.
- Don’t skimp on the technology. Today’s kids know a thing or two about gadgets and technology. Kids will want to keep their iPads charged so that they don’t have to miss out on their favorite game or movie while on the road. Further, drivers often appreciate occupied children as it provides them with a better ability to stay focused on the road in front of them.
- Many newer cars offer the utmost in simplicity. Buttons to make the trunk open and close or to fold down the seats are of uber assistance to parents who have their hands full with a wiggling toddler or bags of groceries.
- Look for cars that offer durability and will stand the test of time. Kids can be destructive, even when they aren’t trying to be. Be sure to look through the car for items that could break and understand how much those items will cost.
- Make sure that the layout will work for the needs of the family. Mini-vans and four-door SUVs tend to work best for families with small children. Most newer mini-vans offer power door options that make it easy for side doors to open and close with just the tap of a button. SUVs are higher off the ground and can make it easy to strap infants, toddlers, and preschoolers into car seats.
- As with any vehicle, a test-drive is critical. And though it might seem counter-intuitive, the best strategy for the test-drive is to leave the kids at home (in the care of a responsible adult). Children can be distracting, and it will make it difficult for parents to properly assess the vehicle if they have to stay focused on the kids. If the kids need to come with, and if they are of the age where they need to sit in a car seat, make sure the proper time is taken to secure the car seat according to manufacturer’s safety guidelines. No test drive is worth skimping on this important step.
- Of course, no family car would be complete without attention to the safety features. But safety is about far more than airbags, seat belts, and head restraints. That’s why this article has a section dedicated to safety features.
Safety Features to Look for in your New Family Car
Safety features deserve a section of their own. After all, the main reason that new parents look for a new car is to ensure they will be safe for their families. Today’s new vehicles offer an impressive selection of safety features, and parents appreciate it. When shopping for a family car, parents should look for the following essential features.
- Stability controls and anti-lock brakes
- Traction control
- Reverse camera
- Autonomous emergency brakes
- Automatic/ adaptive cruise control
- Auto parking assist
- Rear and cross-traffic assist
- Blind-spot assist
- Drive fatigue or distraction warning
- Lane departure warning system
- Seatbelt pre-tensioners and LATCH systems (lower anchors and tethers for children)
Parents who use the mentioned tricks to assess a car’s feasibility before purchasing will be pleased that they took the time to do so. Parents who also look for a vehicle with the previously mentioned safety features will be reassured that they have invested in the best possible vehicle to keep their children safe while on the road.