Cars are extremely important to the average American, with most being dependent on automobiles for travel as well as daily commutes. At the same time, cars can potentially pose a danger to people each time that they use them. While cars are necessary, there are risks that come with collisions and mechanical failures. This is why there are roughly 5.5 million automobile accidents each year in the United States. Though there are a variety of different factors that contribute to this high rate of accidents, many of which unfortunately do result in fatalities, some responsibility can be attributed to drivers putting off their need for a new vehicle.
Although even the most structurally sound and reliable cars need to be replaced at some point or another, many people put off these replacements due to their cost. While it’s true that investing in a new or used car is no small matter, in the long term it’s incredibly important to do so. In fact, it’s actually more cost-effective to buy a different car rather than simply repairing the same car over and over again, especially when it comes to family vehicles. Family cars are often put under more use than individual cars, and the fact is that if a family car fails, there is often much more at risk than there would be if someone was just out for a joy ride on their own. To be sure, buying a new family car without being able to plan for the purchase ahead of time is stressful. But at the same time, every year homeowners remodel over 10.2 million kitchens and 14.2 million bathrooms. By putting these types of more “fun” purchases off for a while, families may more easily be able to invest in cars. And not just any cars, but cars that work for children and elderly relatives alike. With that being said, it’s important to keep in mind some specific factors that set some cars apart from others, making them truly the right fit for a family.
There are several different reasons why space is crucial for a family car; not merely in terms of trunk space, either. While a minivan may not be the most aesthetically appealing car on Earth, it does make a big difference in terms of interior space, which is why a lot of families opt for this kind of car, or alternately an SUV. The advantages of extra space within the car is that it’s easier for people with a limited range of motion, like small children or older people, to get around without having to squeeze themselves into tight spaces. It also makes it easier for families to store the extras that both children and senior citizens often need to travel with, like strollers, wheelchairs, and other items. Ultimately, this is also just a matter of comfort too. Families can expand rather rapidly, and as the world’s population of people age 60 and over should double between 2015 and 2050, the average household may soon be growing even after. If you’re transporting both your kids and your parents around town, the last thing you’ll want is to crowd everyone into a car together, over-packed into one vehicle.
2. Rearview Cameras
Rearview cameras may seem like a new gadget for those that haven’t been in the market for a car lately. However, they are rapidly becoming essential for family vehicles. In fact, all passenger vehicles sold in the United States currently must have rearview facing cameras. On a convenience level, rearview cameras allow people to parallel park more easily and safely. They obviously improve a driver’s visual range, and perhaps most importantly for parents, ensure that they won’t accidentally hit anyone when backing up from the driveway. This is any parent’s worst nightmare, which is a major reason why these cameras are so highly valued. Ultimately, this extra view simply makes a family car much safer for everyone and is why, though older used cars still have value, parents shouldn’t buy cars that are too outdated.
3. Lane Departure Warnings
The Lane Departure Warning function is incredibly important for those seeking out family cars, but it’s not going to be found in every vehicle. When a car is especially full of people, it can be easy for the driver to get distracted, and even drift out of their lane. The Lane Departure Warning function uses an alarm sound, often a ding or a buzz, in order to alert the driver to their drifting. There is also a Lane-Keeping Assist function that gently moves drivers back into their lanes if they deviate from them. While this isn’t going to work for every driver, it can certainly help a lot of them stay safer than they would otherwise.
4. Side-Curtain Airbags
Perhaps one of the biggest questions for parents is when their children will be old enough to ride in the front passenger seat. While a lot of parents find themselves with kids who are desperate to sit up front like the adults, the force of the airbags being deployed can potentially harm their children. They can also harm some of the less physically strong senior citizens who might be riding along. Obviously, airbags save lives. But they can harm, too. This is why it’s a good idea to seek out a car with side-curtain airbags. These actually cushion the front seats during a side impact or rollover. They can also protect third-row passengers in larger vehicles. While it’s still important for drivers to be safe about the front seat, these types of airbags add a lot more value that justifies the risks involved and ensures that everyone throughout the car is kept safe.
While shopping for a family car may be challenging, ultimately understanding the need for a specific type of vehicle will narrow the average driver’s search down a great deal. This ultimately makes the shopping process much simpler, and visiting a qualified dealership will make it simpler still.