New Survey Reveals Car Time Can Be Valuable Family Time

RACINE, Wis., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ — Trying to spend more quality time as a family? The car might just be the perfect place to do just that given the results of the new SC Johnson Family Taxi Survey*.

The survey revealed 90 percent of parents and guardians report spending up to 20 hours per week in their car with their children under 18 years of age. Respondents also reported an average of two kids in the car on a typical day.

With up to 20 hours a week spent with multiple family members in the car, think of that time as an opportunity to create a stress-free family atmosphere and strengthen the family bond.

“As a working mom of two young children, I was curious myself to know how much time parents spend in the car shuttling children around,” said Kelly M. Semrau, Vice President of Global Public Affairs and Communication for SC Johnson. “The SC Johnson Family Taxi Survey mirrored my own experiences. So as a company that knows families, we wanted to spotlight some simple solutions for car time spills and stress to help make time spent in the car a more enjoyable experience for the whole family.”

The SC Johnson Family Taxi Survey Also Revealed:

Destinations: Eighty-nine percent of parents reported restaurants — including fast food — as a destination, while 78 percent were headed to sports and recreation activities.

Activities: The majority of parents and guardians report that the second most frequent activity, behind listening to music, is eating in the car.

Car sickness: Twenty-one percent of parents reported problems with car sickness.

What a mess: Nearly 50 percent of parents and guardians report muddy boots and wet clothes, eating-messes, and scattered crayons and toys in the car.

Whatever the destination, from shopping centers to sporting events to school, with a little planning and preparation, parents can make the ride more enjoyable for all.

Creating a More Pleasant Ride:

Keep your car fresh — Between fast-food wrappers and sporting equipment, unpleasant smells may also be along for the ride. Enjoy continuous freshness with Glade(R) Car Scented Oil, which uses the airflow of the car vent to continuously circulate a light, pleasant fragrance throughout the vehicle.

Prep for carsickness — Be ready with Ziploc(R) storage bags to catch and seal away an unexpected mess; and to eliminate odor causing bacteria, keep an Oust(R) Mini Air Sanitizer handy.

Encourage meaningful conversation — Use the captive audience time to communicate. Talk about anything from TV programs to music to school to sports — topics that are sure to interest children and encourage more than a yes or no answer. In addition to striking up family conversation, the car is a great time to listen to an audio book or foreign language tapes. The whole family may enjoy learning something together.

Eliminate the mess — There’s help. Ziploc(R) storage bags and containers in varying sizes can lock up anything including muddy shoes, action figures, dirty sports gear and snacks. And with spills bound to happen, it’s good to keep portable, individually wrapped Shout(R) wipes instant stain removers handy.

With a little forethought and preparation to keep spills and messes to a minimum, parents can maximize those 20 hours a week of car time with their children, enjoy good conversation and spend more quality time together.

SC Johnson Family Taxi Survey Facts

According to the new SC Johnson Family Taxi Survey* 90 percent of parents and guardians report spending up to 20 hours per week in their car with their children under 18 years of age. Respondents also reported an average of two kids in the car on a typical day. Only 8 percent of parents or guardians are typically shuttling around four or more children on any given day.

Where Do Families Go?

When asked about their travel destination, the survey revealed that most families are headed to a variety of destinations from doctor appointments to day care to recreation activities.

  — Doctor and dentist appointments are the most popular destination
(92 percent).
— Eighty-nine percent reported driving to restaurants (including fast
food). The same number reported going shopping.
— Local entertainment such as movies or school events proved a popular
destination for 84 percent of respondents.
— Eighty-four percent of families are headed off to vacation
— The family taxi carries 71 percent of families to school while
24 percent are headed to day care.

Dinner and a Movie

When asked how children spend the time in the car, the survey revealed that popular activities transfer from the home to the car.

  — Eighty-eight percent of children listen to music while in the car.
— Eating on the go is popular with 60 percent of children, while
27 percent are also watching DVDs.
— Games help to pass time in the car for 47 percent of children.
— Twenty-five percent of young passengers are hitting the homework books
while 23 percent are talking on the cell phone or text messaging.

Smells Like a Locker Room

When asked about mishaps in the car, muddy boots, wet clothes, car sickness and bathroom accidents were all reported. So it’s no wonder that 14 percent of respondents reported locker room-like smells in the family ride.

  — Fifty percent of adults reported muddy boots and wet clothes making a
— Eating was the culprit of car messes for 46 percent of parents or
— Crayons, toys or scattered game pieces got the best of 45 percent of
those surveyed.
— Car sickness wreaked havoc for 21 percent with 17 percent reporting
bathroom accidents.

*The SC Johnson Family Taxi Survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporations’ CARAVAN(R) omnibus survey. More than 2,071 total adults living in the continental U.S. were contacted by telephone, 621 were identified as parents or guardians of children in the household under 18 years of age.