A healthier way to travel
Having a comfy car is a priority (second only, of course, to staying safe) if, like the average American woman, you spend an hour or more a day behind the wheel.
Here, the latest road-tested must-haves to make your time in the car safer and less stressful.
Use your head(set)
Fiddling with your phone can jack up your accident risk by 300%. If you must call while moving, have your cell phone hooked up to a Bluetooth-compatible headset.
Our pick: the Jawbone Icon ($99.99), which has noise-canceling technology and works with most newer model phones that allow you to automatically dial a number by saying the person's name.
Bonus for screeners: A voice (you choose) whispers the caller IDs.
Make a clean sweep
A recent study found that most cars harbor nearly 300 types of bacteria in just one square inchsome of which contribute to funky smells.
Clean all surfaces, especially smudges on your windshield that can wreck visibility, with glass cleaner every time you fill up. (We like Windex Multi-Surface Pre-Moistened Wipes, $3.98.)
Leather seats can be de-germed with Method Leather Love compostable wipes ($6).
To freshen up the scent, try a natural deodorizer like Earth Solutions Car Scenter ($14). Just plug one into your lighter port, and voilÃ âhappier air.
A messy car can drive up stress, says Julie Morgenstern, author of When Organizing Isn't Enough, Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life.
Toss wrappers and receipts into a cute fabric tote. (We like the Car Litter Bag, $19, which is available in more than 50 designs.) Line it with a small trash bag, and fit it over your seat back.
If you're car shopping, safety ratings deserve more than a quick glance. SaferCar.gov offers a search tool to find out which new and used cars will protect you best in a crash (thanks to features like side and rear air bags).
Top 2010 models include the Hyundai Sonata sedan, Subaru Outback crossover wagon, and Chrysler Town & Country van.
Stay on course
A GPS doesn't just keep you from taking your eyes off the road to fuss with mapsit may even save your relationship.
A recent poll found that 55% of couples' car squabbles are the result of getting lost. Just be sure you key in your destination before you hit the road.
Captivate the kids
Nothing is more distracting or dangerous than looking behind you to play referee, but kids often act up most when they know you're not paying attention.
Make sure they have things to play with in the carlike a portable Etch A Sketch or an electronic handheld game.