Keeping a vehicle safe, clean and organized is tough enough for most drivers. But for parents, the task can be even tougher.
A survey of over 1,000 parents by HopSkipDrive, a ride service for kids who are 6 or older, finds that 38 percent of parents spend five hours a week shuttling their kids, and a third of the survey respondents reported driving their children more than 10 hours a week. That's a lot of time crammed into one space.
Maximizing resources in the car is a must, so a marketplace of auto gadgets has emerged. Read on for a look at some of the devices that promise to help make parents' lives on the road a lot easier.
*Get a Boost
Booster seats are important safety tools, but they're bulky, which frustrates parents.
A few products are trying to make traveling a lot less cumbersome. The Mifold Grab-and-Go booster seat, which is 10 times smaller than traditional booster seats, folds up and fits into a carry-on bag, therefore saving parents from having to rent car seats when traveling. The rest of the time, the space savers keep a car's limited seating manageable.
Here's how it works: Instead of boosting the child up to the belt, it pulls the belt down to the child, making it safer than traditional boosters.
Another option -- the BubbleBum inflatable car booster seat, for kids ages 4 to 11 -- weighs less than a pound and can deflate in seconds. The booster is advertised as an option for car pools, road trips and air travel. The concept is the same: safe seats but smaller.
Parents know that cars filled with kids can get messy -- fast. From crackers to juice boxes to granola bar wrappers, many back seats are stuffed with trash and crumbs.
Drivers need a reliable vacuum cleaner to suck up that nasty debris. Enter the Archeer car vacuum, which Business Insider calls "one of the most convenient accessories you can keep in your car."
The gadget, which plugs in to the car's outlet, doubles as an efficient air compressor. Your tires and car interior will appreciate the attention.
*The Key to Organization
Struggling with lots of keys -- extra car keys, house keys, equipment locker keys and more? Streamline your keys by keeping them all together.
The Keyport Pivot, a minimalist key ring organizer, holds up to eight keys. You can add on a low-energy Bluetooth locator, a pocketknife and a flashlight, too.
*Say Goodbye to Overturned Bags
You know how distracting and annoying it is to have your bag tip over, spilling bottles, crayons and snacks.
You can avoid overturned purses and shopping bags with a car organizer called The Bag Fix, which keeps bags secure during hard braking.
The hook-like gadget, which can hold over 40 pounds, hangs between the vehicle's headrest posts. Use The Bag Fix to keep diaper bags, backpacks, toys and other items secure and organized.
These days, nearly every car has a charger to make sure phones, tablets and other devices are charged. But a new gadget can do even more than that.
The AdventureJumpStart can be used to jump-start the vehicle, too. No more worries about a dead battery if the kiddos accidentally leave the lights on.
*Baby on Board
In the midst of a busy schedule, parents may forget a child in the car. A free safety app from Kars4Kids alerts drivers to check for a child when they leave the vehicle.
The app, available only for Android, is designed as an emergency backup to parental monitoring. The organization urges drivers to always do a safety check before leaving the car.
*Driving Safety Service
Keep tabs on the family with an app such as Life360, the world's leading family location app and driving safety service.
Parents can use the app to set up alerts to notify them when family members arrive at a location, such as school or work. The free app can also be used for group chats, as well as collecting route information and distracted driving incidents.
There are features for crash detection and extended roadside assistance, too. The app can automatically detect a car accident and automatically dispatches emergency services.