Even though services like Uber have gone mainstream, many parents still have questions about ride-sharing with their kiddos. Indeed, one of the most common concerns parents have is whether Uber drivers carry car seats in their vehicles.
Although Uber requires passengers to use age-appropriate car seats for children, there’s no guarantee a driver will have one in his or her vehicle. Indeed, it’s safe to assume many Uber drivers won’t have a car seat available for pint-sized passengers. Also, most of Uber’s independent contractors aren’t formally trained in installing car seats.
So, if parents want to travel with children, they should carry a car seat with them. It’s also a good idea to practice properly installing these devices at-home rather than figuring out how to use it in your Uber. If your Uber ride ends in an unlikely accident, it could be devastating if your car seat is improperly installed.
Typically, Uber drivers are required to abide by their state’s car seat laws. That means if you have the wrong car seat for your child’s height and weight, an Uber driver could legally refuse service. Since each local government has slightly different car seat requirements, parents should look into these policies before hailing a ride.
On Uber’s website, executives request that passengers place infants under 15 months in an approved rear-facing child seat. According to the NHTSA, once a toddler outgrows the manufacturer’s recommendation for a rear-facing restraint, they should move up to a forward-facing seat. Children around the age of five should then transition to a booster seat until they are at least 4’ 9’’ tall.
While most Uber drivers don’t carry child restraints, the company recently unveiled an Uber Car Seat program (aka UberFAMILY) in select cities. Drivers who participate in this program must drive an UberX vehicle and carry one forward-facing restraint. Drivers in the Uber Car Seat program are also skilled at installing child seats, so you won’t have to worry about putting it in yourself.
The car seat in these vehicles is only suitable for children who are at least 2-years-old, weigh over 22 pounds, and measure 31 inches tall. Children who are over 48 pounds or 52 inches can’t legally use this seat. Also, please keep in mind this Car Seat service will cost an extra $10.
Currently, only a few big cities are testing the Uber Car Seat program at this time. Although most people in Uber’s Car Seat program are in NYC, there’s also talk of expansion into Orlando, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. You could learn more about this new feature on this link.