Are You Doing These 11 Things to Keep Your Family Car as Safe as Possible?

All parents will relate to number eight…

Keeping your family safe in vehicles

A tire rotation should generally be done every 7,500 miles or so, but if your kids and your schedule are anywhere near as hectic as mine, you know that cleaning the car happens far more often than a tire change.

From snacks to toys and equipment for after-school activities, the interior of your vehicle can start looking like your kids' toy room in no time flat. To keep your schedule and your car looking as nice as possible, here are a few tips I like to follow.

1. Check the Car Seat Regularly

Remember that child safety and auto experts say kids should stay in their rear-facing carseat until they are at least two years-old. Make sure your kid's height and weight are appropriate for your car seat. You're probably thinking, everyone knows that!

Well, here's something many people don't know: car seats have an expiration date. Check the label or manual to see if your car seat is still safe for use in the car; if it's more than six years old, it's probably time for an upgrade.

2. The Inch Test for Car Seats

Have you heard of the inch test for car seats? After installing a car seat, yank on it right at the base. If the seat moves more than an inch, in any direction, then it may not be properly installed.

3. Wipe Down Surfaces

A good multi-surface wipe or even a baby wipe can be one of your most powerful tools here. Wiping down windows, door handles, and even your dashboard can keep dust and germs from creeping into your car.

4. Clean the Carpets!

The phrase "don't look down" applies to more than heights. Truth be told, the carpets of your car may be more terrifying than any fall; any number of things could be lurking in those fibers. Make sure to take your floor mats out and vacuum them, as well as the carpeting in your car.

5. Keep Cup Holders Safe

Whether you line them with a plastic bag or simply place coasters on the bottom, it's important to keep those cup holders from getting sticky. Wiping them down with a multi-surface cleaner or antibacterial wipe should help get the job done if they do see a spill.

6. Keep a Garbage Container in the Car

Whether it's an old grocery bag or an actual plastic bin, make sure you always have somewhere to put the snack wrappers and drink containers that somehow always end up on the floor. Flying debris is a dangerous projectile even in the smallest scale collision. 

7. Budget for Car Care

The average car will have three owners, which means there are a lot of parents out there driving in older used cars. For parents on a budget, it can be hard to find extra cash for regular auto upkeep. Unfortunately, auto neglect can cost your more money in the long run and cause accidents on the road.

Car care for family vehicles

8. What Goes in, Must Come Out

Some moms call this the Golden Rule of the carpool. If you or your children bring something into the car, you need to make sure it comes out when you do. Not only will this prevent clutter, it could save time looking for things you might have thought lost otherwise.

9. Keep Important Documents in Order

Meaning, don't leave them where your kids could reach! Keep them in a clearly labeled folder that you can easily access, but not where wandering hands could reach from the back seat.

10. Create a Custom Car Kit

If you have toddlers, you may want to keep diapers in the car. If you're a mother to teens who have very active schedules, you might want to keep Gatorade or changes of clothes. Every mom has a unique lifestyle and schedule, which means that every mom's car kit will be different. However, you should always keep your custom car kit on hand for life’s little emergencies.

11. Clean Your Car Monthly

Not only does your car's steering wheel contain more bacteria than a public toilet seat, but there are up to 700 different kinds of bacteria in the average car. And according to The Daily Mail, some areas of your car have more than 1,000 bacteria per 1.5 square inches! No matter how tidy you keep your car, setting aside time to clean and organize your vehicle can bring you some much-needed peace of mind.

Keeping your car looking tip top is one of many ways to make your life a little bit easier, but you might be surprised at just how much these small changes can affect your daily life.

 RELATED: Used Cars: Are Low Mileage Cars Always A Great Buy?

LouAnn is pursuing a Master's Degree in creative writing while she works on a graphic novel. When she has a rare moment of free time, she loves to write about social issues like body positivity, parenting, and mental health.