Ride Share Companies and Car Seats... Here's What You Need To Know!
Many of us utilize ride sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft for various reasons. I use them for transportation to and from the airport, on a night out, sporting events or if I just simply don’t feel like driving myself and paying for parking… aka ALL the time!
Have you ever thought about the laws and regulations for taking a child into a ride share vehicle with no car seat and who would be liable if a child was injured in an accident? I can tell you right now that thought has never once crossed my mind before last week. I have no children, so I often don’t think about situations in a parents perspective. However, on my recent Uber ride to the San Diego airport, I was thinking in full mom mode. I started thinking about what families with young children do on a vacation when they have no rental car and need transportation somewhere.
Here’s what I found:
Minnesota Legislature states that “Every motor vehicle operator, when transporting a child who is both under the age of eight and shorter than four feet nine inches on the streets and highways of this state in a motor vehicle equipped with factory-installed seat belts, shall equip and install for use in the motor vehicle, according to the manufacturer's instructions, a child passenger restraint system meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.” With the exception of “a person while operating a motor vehicle for hire, including a taxi, airport limousine, and bus.” For hire means with a driver. Companies like Uber and Lyft would be a motor vehicle for hire. My understanding with this information is that a car seat is not required for an Uber or Lyft in the state of Minnesota.
A side note that I found online is that Uber and Lyft have an option on their app where you can choose to have a car seat in the vehicle. However, after looking into this more, I found out that this option is only available in New York City right now.
If you don’t live in Minnesota or are traveling out of state, click this link https://kidsridesafe.org/map.html for information on the law for the state you live in or are visiting. If you want to read more on what the Minnesota law specifically states, click this link https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.685.
Until next time,