Thinking back on the cars that I’ve owned over the years, each one has fit a different age and stage of my life. There was the hand me down station wagon from my parents whose battle wagon status made it a safe vehicle as my first car, the sportier car that helped me navigate Boston traffic and fit into tight city spaces during my grad school days and my first few years of teaching, and the luxury sedan that came with the glory of having two incomes and no kids. But when Emily was born eleven years ago it became clear that there might be another vehicle better suited for our new lifestyle as parents.
While we weren’t ready to give up features like premium sound systems, leather interiors, moonroofs, comfort, reliability, and good gas mileage, we were also thinking ahead to our years as parents and the toll that kids might take on our future car. Certainly leather was easier to wipe down than cloth and less likely to absorb any weird smells from spilled liquid or bodily fluids. Rubber floor mats purchased from the manufacturer ensured that crumbs were easily caught and could be expelled from the car with a shake. The ability to engage parental locks on doors to ensure they weren’t accidentally opened by curious little fingers became important as did LATCH systems for easy installation of infant and convertible car seats.
These days I have the pleasure of working lots of car companies to get the inside scoop on how cars are being designed to fit our lifestyle. While spending time with Chevy and General Motors at the Washington Auto Show last month, I heard how designers and engineers are inspired by feedback from vehicle owners and their own lives to build better cars. Sitting in on press day panels I was privy to hearing how the kids of Chevy and General Motors employees help create kid proof vehicles.
Having a kidproof car is something that I don’t think about every time I hop in our car because they are features that I’ve become accustomed to and my kids don’t even realize are there. I took some time to ask them a few questions when we were in the car the other day and while they confessed to doing things they aren’t supposed to do in the car and shared their thoughts on who is a better driver in the family, it was also apparent that they don’t even know what kidproof means! Take a look!
While kids may not know what kid proof means, Chevy and General Motors do! Parents who are dismayed by the muddy streaks on the back of the driver and passenger seats will be pleased to know that the plastic backing in Chevy and GM cars is one of 7 vehicle features designed with kids kicking, fighting, and spilling in mind.
If you’re a parent who appreciates conveniently located and abundant cup holders, the location and quantity in Chevy and General Motors vehicles were influenced by the needs of kids. Engineers and designers wanted to be sure that kids could easily reach their beverages from kid seats but also that cups would be securely held in place.
Even if you’re partial to leather interior like I am, General Motors works with suppliers to make sure vehicle fabrics are durable and can resist all sorts of kid-induced stains. Having a durable cloth option is a budget friendly choice for families who want to ensure that their car will outlast the different stages of their kids’ lives.
These days our kids are 8 and 11 and since the car that we got when Emily was a baby is having some issues, we’re considering what we might get next. Having seen many options from Chevy and General Motors at the Washington Auto Show recently (everything from trucks, sedans, to hybrid and electric models!) and knowing the thoughtfulness behind the engineering and design of their vehicles to make them practical choices for families makes some models instantly appealing. I know when the time comes to purchase our next family car, my two seasoned car testers won’t hold back in sharing their opinions and really putting potential vehicles to the test!
They’re always on the lookout for cars when we’re on the road, reminding me of the features they loved and weren’t so great in the ones we’ve gotten to test. Since there are days we spend a lot of time in the car, one of the kids’ favorite past times is a made up game called the Yellow Car Game. This totally made up game is a bit addictive, fun, and easily adaptable for your family! Here’s Emily explaining how to play the Yellow Car Game!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.