Researchers Examine Car Seat Use in Ridesharing Vehicles
GEORGIA – November 1, 2018 (eurekalert.org) Researchers from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute have released the results of a recent study regarding the use of car seats in ridesharing vehicles, like Uber and Lyft. The study results are details at eurekalert.org.*
Ridesharing vehicles are extremely popular methods of transportation today, but families who want to use them have to deal with an important issue: Will the ride have a car seat?
The researchers looked at state laws regarding child seat use in ridesharing vehicles and surveyed families who tried to use car seats during a ride. In addition, they developed a website to help people understand the child seat guidelines currently in place around the country.
In the U.S., 34 states exempt taxis and for-hire vehicles from child restraint requirements, according to the study’s findings. Georgia was the only state that specified a difference between taxis and ridesharing vehicles, like Uber and Lyft. Under Georgia law, taxis and other for-hire vehicles do not have to provide car seats, but ridesharing vehicles do. Whether other states’ exemptions apply to ridesharing is less unclear.
It would seem from the survey portion of the study that many Uber and Lyft drivers think they are exempt. Of the people surveyed by the researchers, almost half of parents said they were not provided adequate child safety seats during a ride. Parents overall seemed interested in trying to use ridesharing more with their families but were deterred by the lack of car seats and uncertainty about state regulations.
“It can be a challenge to figure out what the rules are for transporting kids in a ride-share vehicles, as the laws vary from state to state,” said Justin Owens, research scientist at VTTI and lead investigator on the project. “We hope this website will serve as a valuable reference that parents, ride-share drivers, and others can use to identify the child passenger regulations in their area and other states they may visit.”
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