Study asks: Do ride-share users bring safety seats for their children?
Blacksburg, VA — Nearly half of parents who use ride-share vehicles with their kids don’t bring – or use – appropriate child safety seats, according to new research from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.
Researchers conducted a series of focus groups with parents and ride-share drivers, as well as a nationwide survey of parents, to measure the ability to transport young children safely via popular ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. They also looked at child restraint laws nationwide, and learned that 34 states exempt taxis and for-hire vehicles from child restraint requirements.
- More than one-third of parents surveyed said they had used ride-share services with their children.
- During focus group interviews, 75 percent of ride-share drivers reported they had transported children, but only half recalled a car seat being used.
- Overall, parents want to use car seats but are unclear on their state’s rules and often feel deterred by a lack of car seat options.
“These findings suggest that parents would like to be able to transport their children more safely when using ride-share vehicles,” said Justin Owens, a research scientist at VTTI and principal investigator on the project, “but there is a real need for user-friendly information about rules, regulations and resources surrounding travel with children.”
In response, VTTI has launched KidsRideSafe.org as a resource for parents and caregivers using ride-share services. The website lists regulations by state, along with various federal resources on the topic.