It's kinda sad that family road trips are such minefields, we have to turn to scientists to fix them. 

Dr. Geoff Rolls is a psychologist at Southampton University in England. And he's come up with a seven-item formula for a perfect family road trip. Here's what it takes.

1. Start by picking a day with good weather. Nothing spoils a road trip (or anytime in the car) when it is raining.

2. Make sure the car has been checked out and won't break down. If you have never experienced this fun in the sun - well don't. First hand I can tell you it is no fun.

3. Pick a destination that appeals to the whole family. And make sure it is nor more than 100 miles away. Any further than that and you will lose your captive audience.

4. Give the kids specific jobs that are fun, and offer some responsibility on the trip, like organizing a picnic lunch or spotting places to stop for photos. I like to let the kids take turns picking out things to do or places to stop. It allows them to feel that they were a big part of the trip planning.

5. Plan a stop to eat halfway through the drive. Plan the route to go through or close by to a state or National Park. Or just drive off the main road into a small town and find a park.

6. Make sure everyone in the car has something to entertain them for the ride. In the age of modern electronics in automobiles, the choices are endless. DVD players for the entire car, individual ones for separate movies, mp3 prts in front and back, cell phones, IPODs / IPADs you name it something for everyone.

7. Make sure you have alternate routes planned if there's traffic. Plan ahead, use GPS, MAPQUEST or what ever means you have to navigate. Of course you could and should always have a state map ion the car with you just in case.