Used-car retailer Carmax recently commissioned a study asking parents what they could not live without on a long family road trip, and the top answer was music.
The poll asked 500 parents of children aged 3 to 15 what they could not live without on a long trip, and 46 percent said they needed tunes to get through it.
Not surprising, really. Music helps people escape their problems, and for many parents, it can be a helpful tool to relieve the stress of traveling with kids.
Movies checked in at second, at 17 percent, which is a sign that parents are probably using DVDs to distract and placate squabbling backseat riders. Books, which can be used for the same purpose, ranked 16 percent.
Gaming devices came in at 11 percent, and perhaps surprisingly, old-fashioned games like the license plate game were last at 5 percent.
Maybe that last item isn't so surprising, as technology has changed the way Americans travel. Rear-seat DVD entertainment systems and highly advanced portable gaming systems are a good way to distract kids, although purists might lament the lack of enthusiasm surrounding old-fashioned games like "I spy."
But hey, parents need to be distracted, too, in order to keep themselves from becoming too stressed to drive. And if rocking out to some of their favorite music allows them to do so, then it's easy to see why music tops this list.
Music isn't just for the parent's either--listen to favorite songs can help keep kids occupied. So think about that the next time you're deciding whether or not to pack an iPod and some CDs before a long car trip.