According to a recent study, many U.S. parents do not use child safety seats when taking ride-share vehicles such as Uber or Lyft with their young children.
Speaking about the matter, senior study author Dr. Michelle Macy, a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago says:
Our results are concerning, as ride-share services are increasingly popular. Car accidents remain the leading cause of death for children under 10 years old, and traveling without the recommended child restraint system increases the risk for serious injury or death in a crash.”
In a news release Macy also confirmed:
“Importantly, our findings suggest that even parents who usually use child car seats face barriers to doing so in ride-share vehicles. Or, parents may view traveling in ride-share services as different, in terms of risk and legal requirements, than traveling in their family vehicle.”
The study team surveyed parents across the US and found that most who use ride-share services do so with their kids, but only half of those with children 8 years or younger said their child traveled in child car seats or booster seats when taking ride-share vehicles.
Study published In The journal Academic Pediatrics Confirms Concerning Results
Findings showed that among parents of kids 8 and younger, about 40% used only a seat belt for their child, while 10% put their child on their lap or unrestrained in the vehicle.
According to the study, overall, parents reported lower rates of child car seat use in ride-share vehicles compared with how their child usually travels.
Child car seat laws vary by state here in the US, but most states require children younger than 8 to travel in a child car seat or booster seat when in ride-share, the researchers noted in the study.
“A lack of awareness of laws and policies requiring car seats and booster seats in ride-share vehicles may be a reason for our findings. Solutions include enforcement of policies, reminders from ride-share apps, signs posted in ride-share vehicles, education from pediatricians and public health campaigns,” Macy said.
You can find out more about car seats safety in your state from the American Academy of Pediatrics.