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Motoring: It's good to talk for good car karma.

As millions of families head off on bank holiday journeys this weekend many parents will be fearing the prospect of keeping the youngsters happy during the journey.

Many families now having access to a plethora of high-tech options to keep them occupied on long journeys - but that may not be the answer.

Availability of in-car gadgetry is on the increase, with many MPVs now offering the option of an in-car DVD player to keep back seat passengers occupied and more than half of children use mobile phones and walkmans to help pass the time on long journeys.

Even so, new research shows that around a third of holiday road trips still end in tantrums and bust-ups.

But according to the major retailer which conducted the research, the solution to warring passengers could lie in a simple game of 'Pub Cricket', and it advocates going 'back to basics' to restore car karma.

According to the research conducted by jamjar cars, solitary-use gadgets are preventing families from using time in the car to chat, which around half of children - 49 per cent - would prefer to do.

More than two thirds of British families regard days out in the car as a way of spending 'quality time' together, with mums and dads also believing that chatting and catching up whilst in the car as important, with 43 per cent of them wanting to use driving time for this purpose.

Most adults, however, are lamenting the decline of the traditional car game, with 54 per cent saying that playing I-spy would be their preferred way to make a journey pass more quickly!

To assist in time for the Bank Holiday, and to get the whole family chatting again, jamjar cars has launched a book of car games aimed at preventing in-car boredom and bust-ups.

Called The Jambusters - it features classics such as the 'Licence Plate Game', 'Pub Cricket' and 'Twenty Questions'. It is free to download at www.jamjar.com and will help families arrive at their destinations happy and relaxed, according to expert Dr Rebecca Roache.

Rebecca, who has had work published in Philosophy and Psychology says: 'Unfortunately, today's busy schedules and the availability of gadgets like DVD players and games consoles means that many families spend less time interacting now than they may have done in the past.'
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 29, 2005
Words:386
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