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What Are the Rideshare Car Seat Laws in NYC?

Ride share customer and passenger sitting in the backseat of a car while using the rideshare application in smartphone to give rating to the driver. Commuter and rider giving review in phone taxi app.

If you have children, then you likely already know that there are specific safety laws and regulations you are required to follow when driving with your children as passengers.  These laws are meant to protect children from injury in a car accident.  But we also know that different safety regulations, such as seat belt requirements, apply to taxi cabs and other for-hire vehicles.   What are the car seat rules for these vehicles?  Do the same rules apply to rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft?  Learn below about how child car seat laws apply to rideshare vehicles in New York, and contact a dedicated Poughkeepsie car accident lawyer if you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident in New York’s Hudson Valley.

New York does not legally require car seats for children in taxis

New York City laws requiring car seats for children do not apply to taxi cabs. According to the Taxi &  Limousine Commission (TLC), New York State law requires all taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers to wear a seatbelt while driving and requires that any front-seat passenger over the age of 16 also wear a seatbelt.  The TLC encourages everyone to wear a seatbelt, but state law does not require it.  Moreover, the TLC encourages people to bring their own car seats for children, and if a passenger does bring a car seat, taxi drivers are required to allow the passenger to install the car seat.  But NYC taxis are not required to have child car seats, and passengers are not required to use them.  Children under seven are allowed to sit on an adult’s lap.

Are Uber and Lyft exempt from car seat laws as well?

The laws applying to rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are less clear.  The New York City legal exemption for “for-hire” vehicles does sound like it would apply to Uber and Lyft as well.  Thankfully, you can certainly choose to ride with a car seat in your Uber or Lyft.  Uber and Lyft, in fact, require that children of car-seat age sit in an appropriate car seat, regardless of how the law precisely applies. 

In many cities, including New York City, Uber will provide a car seat upon request for an extra $10.  Uber has a button in the app for “car seat” that appears if you are requesting an “uberX” vehicle.  The standard Uber car seat accommodates children who are at least one year old, weigh between 22 and 48 pounds and are between 31 and 52 inches.  Lyft also offers this option in New York City, although it is not clear whether they have expanded or plan to expand this option to other cities.  You can also bring your own car seat and install it in your Uber or Lyft if you prefer your own seat or if the Uber or Lyft options do not accommodate your children.      

What should you do?

Even if the laws are unclear or do not require a car seat, you should always keep yours handy when riding in a taxi, Uber, or Lyft with your children.  Give yourself enough time when you are going somewhere to properly install the car seat, ask your driver to pull over and out of traffic to give you time, and ask your driver to drive slowly and safely while you are in the car with your children.  When you are getting out at your destination, again ask your driver to pull over to give you time to safely remove your child and the seat.  Ask for help installing or removing the seat if you need it.  Your children’s safety is ultimately in your hands, and it pays to be careful.    

Experienced Poughkeepsie Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident in New York, seek qualified legal help to evaluate your potential claims by contacting the seasoned and capable Hudson Valley personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Taran M. Provost, PLLC for a free consultation at 845-675-3243.

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