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Child Safety and Uber/Lyft Rides

Child Safety and Uber/Lyft Rides

As rideshare services like Uber and Lyft become more popular, concerns about the safety of these vehicles have been on the rise.  One issue that has been cropping up recently is the safety of children in rideshare vehicles.  What are the legal requirements for child safety in commercial vehicles?  Can you bring your own car seat when you ride in your Uber?  If you do not want to carry a car seat with you, will Uber or Lyft provide a car seat for you?  Continue reading for a discussion of child safety in rideshare vehicles, and contact a dedicated Philadelphia car accident attorney if you have been injured in a traffic accident in Chestnut Hill or throughout Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania’s child car seat laws

Under Pennsylvania law, infants and children under eight years old must be in an approved child restraint or booster seat when riding anywhere in a motor vehicle.   Children must ride in a rear-facing child car seat in the back of a vehicle until they reach age two or until they reach the upper weight limit of the rear-facing convertible seat according to the manufacturers of the seat (generally around 35 pounds).  All children under age four must be securely fastened in a proper child passenger restraint system, and between ages four and eight, they must be securely fastened in a booster seat.  Children between eight and 18 must use a seat belt at all times.

Unlike neighboring New York, Pennsylvania law does not clearly exempt taxis from child seat laws, nor is there reason to believe Uber and Lyft are exempt.  Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials have stated that child restraint requirements apply to all vehicles except perhaps school buses.

What should you do with your young kids in an Uber or Lyft?

Uber and Lyft generally require that children of car-seat age sit in an appropriate car seat.  The rideshare companies prefer to avoid liability for themselves and encourage child safety.  If you have your own car seat, you can bring it with you and install it in the appropriate position for your children to use while you ride. 

Child seat laws exist to protect your children, and you should always comply.  Give yourself enough time when you are going somewhere to install the car seat properly in the rideshare vehicle, and ask your driver to pull out of traffic to give you time to install the seat.  Make sure your driver pulls out of traffic at your destination to give you time to remove the child and the seat.

In certain cities, Uber and Lyft provide car seats upon request for an additional fee.  At this time, Lyft and Uber appear to offer car seats only in New York City.  Uber car seats were previously available in Philadelphia, but Uber appears to have discontinued that program for now.  Whether Uber or Lyft will expand a child seat program to other cities in the future is unclear at this time.

CALL BENEDUM LAW AFTER A PENNSYLVANIA CAR ACCIDENT

For help getting the compensation you need and deserve after a Philadelphia rideshare traffic accident, or for further help in calculating a settlement value for your traffic accident or other personal injury claim, contact Benedum Law in Chestnut Hill at 215-529-7848 for a free consultation.

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