There’s growing concern over children who should be in car restraints not using car seats while riding in rideshare cars. New research by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the Texas Transportation Institute shows only half of parents use car seats in rideshare cars.
Car seat requirements vary by state so be sure to check your state to check if your child is supposed to be in a child restraint.
The AAP recommends:
- Infants and toddlers should stay in rear-facing car seat until they reach the highest weight or height listed on their seat.
- Children in forward-facing car seats should use seats with a harness until the listed height and weight limits on their seats.
- When children outgrow rear and forward-facing car seats, they should use a booster seat until their seat belts fit correctly. This usually happens when children are between 8 to 12 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall.
- Children that do not need booster seats should have seat belts on at all times.
- Children 13 years old and younger should be restrained in the rear seats of vehicles for optimal protection.
Traveling with young children that need car seats can be a challenge and transporting them safely while using rideshare cars is a big issue. Uber and Lyft cars do not come equipped with car seats and passengers may only request them in certain cities. Parents have the option to bring their own car seats but these are often heavy and have a time-consuming installation process.
According to the study, 34 states, do not require taxis or rideshare vehicles to have car seats available.
The study also had the following findings:
- More than a third of parents used ride-share services to transport their children.
- Up to half of parents said they did not use the appropriate car seats for their children while using Uber and Lyft.
- Three quarters of the rideshare drivers transported young children and only have of them reported proper car seats being used.
- Parents in the study were interested in using car seats on Uber and Lyft rides but were discouraged by the lack of availability and not knowing what the rules regarding car seats were.
If you are an Uber driver concerned with the unsafe transportation of children, check with your state laws to see what options you have available. Also, be sure to check your rideshare insurance coverage too. The rideshare insurance coverage provided by the company you work for is not enough insurance for you. Only a rideshare insurance policy covers you in all three periods of driving without overpaying for commercial auto insurance or having to pay high deductibles.