Navigating Car Seats for Kids When Using Car Services
With the advent of smartphones, getting rides while traveling has become much easier, and there are many more options. But traveling with young children comes with a number of unique issues and concerns that separate some car services from others–not just when it comes to price or convenience, but when it comes to your kids’ safety.
Choosing Between Taxis, Rideshares & Town Car Services
When using a car service while traveling, your three main choices are taxis, rideshares (like Uber and Lyft) and town cars. Each offer very different accommodations for infants and toddlers who require car seats.
- Taxis. Taxis can be very convenient in large cities, where they can be hailed from the street. But very few taxi services have car seats available, and those that do must be contacted ahead of time. Although some states, including New York, exempt taxis from car seat laws, having a child under 60 pounds ride in a taxi without a car seat or booster seat could be devastating in the event of an accident.
- Rideshares. App based services will not allow families to ride without a car seat for young children. They have recently launched an option in which a person can select a ride that has a car seat installed for an extra fee, but these options are only available in select cities. They also come with several limitations. One one car seat is available per ride, leaving families with two children out of luck. Also, the car seat cannot be used with children who are younger than 12 months, lighter than 22 pounds, or shorter than 31 inches. Finally, a driver with a car seat may not be available in your area at the time you need a ride.
- Black car services. Towne car car seat services vary significantly from company to company. At Ground Link, customers can select an infant, toddler, or booster car seat before you ride for a small additional fee. Riders can rest assured that you will be picked up at a specific time and place.
Optimizing Safety & Convenience When Mixing Car Seats & Car Services
In most cities, you will have several options when traveling with children regarding their comfort and safety in cars. Here are a few things to know before making car seat travel decisions:
- Car seat laws vary by state. Be sure to read up on the car seat law for the state or states you are visiting. Laws vary by state, both about specific height/weight car seat requirements and about car services and car seat use.
- Safety is important, even if laws are lax. Just because some states exempt some car services from following car seat laws doesn’t mean that it is safe for your child to ride in a car without a car seat. Studies show that children under 60 pounds are much more likely to sustain serious injuries in a car accident if they are not in a car seat or on a booster.
- Make sure seats are installed correctly. Always to make sure the seat is securely and correctly installed before buckling in your child. In some states, you may be required to install the seat yourself for legal reasons. Even if a driver reports that he or she has been trained in car seat installation double check to make sure the seat is properly secured.
- Check for car seat services in the specific areas you are traveling. Although national rideshare or black car services may advertise car seat options, they may not be available nationwide. Likewise, smaller cities may have significantly fewer vehicles equipped with car seats.
Riding with GroundLink While Traveling with Children
At GroundLink, our customers can select the car seats they need either on our app, on the website, or over the phone. They can also add notes to their driver about their needs related to traveling with children–we are here to make your ride as safe, convenient, and comfortable as possible.