Uber is my go-to back up plan if something happens to my car. It’s cheap, and it can instantly get me to the shop to pick up my car when they’re done working on it.
In the past, I’ve also used it to go to the store or take my kids to school. Because I usually have at least one child with me, and for safety reasons, I needed to know the laws and rules regarding car seats and Uber.
This article will address everything you need to know regarding Uber and your kids, including car seats.
In this article
- What Is Uber?
- Uber And Kids
- Uber And Car Seats
- So, Do I Need A Car Seat?
What Is Uber?
If you’re just now learning about rideshare opportunities and services like Uber or Lyft, that’s okay.
These services really became popular a few years back, and continue to increase in popularity. Some people have been able to transform driving for Uber into a part-time job for a second income!
Uber can be used by simply downloading the app on your phone. When you need a ride, you utilize the app to type in your destination. Then, you’ll also need to select the size of the car that you need.
The more seats you need for passengers, the more expensive your ride will be. The app will also tell you an approximate time of arrival.
(You can watch the little car drive on a map towards your house so you will know when your Uber driver arrives.)
Payments are automatically made via whatever you have linked with your Uber account, such as a debit card after you arrive at your destination.
There are a few cities that let you pay in cash, but this is not common. Most require a debit or credit card.
Uber And Kids
Uber is a popular option for everyone, especially for those of us with kids. When the weather is less than favorable, extremely cold walking them to school at seven in the morning is less than ideal.
This is where services like Uber and Lyft can come in really handy. Uber is great if you have long distances to go to! If you plan on using Uber with children, there are a few things that you need to know.
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Can Kids Ride In Uber Alone?
More and more parents are trying to send their children alone in an Uber. Uber simply offers them more convenience and time, something that busy parents don’t have a lot of.
If your child is going two hours away for visitation, it can be a relief to hand that off to someone else. However, this is not a good idea.
First of all, younger children should always be with a parent or trusted adult, and you don’t know who their Uber driver will be.
In addition to it possibly being unsafe, it’s important to note that this is against the rules. Only people that are of legal age in a state are allowed to ride in an Uber by themselves.
Uber does this for liability reasons most of the time. If something were to happen to your little one, Uber could be held responsible. For most states, the legal age is 18 years old.
This means that your teenager is not allowed to take an Uber by themselves either.
Can Children Ride In An Uber With An Adult?
Yes! As long as children are accompanied by an adult, they can take an Uber. There is no age limit on children in an Uber. This means that any child, from your infant to your teenager, can accompany you in the car.
Uber And Car Seats
Most people wonder if they are required to follow car seat laws when taking an Uber. It makes sense that you wouldn’t be as most bus drivers and some taxi drivers don’t require this, but Uber tends to differ in that area.
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Uber regulations don’t specifically say that a child has to be in a car seat, but they do state that drivers will need to follow local regulations.
Make Sure That You Know The Local Laws
Because car seat laws vary by state, it’s important to make sure that you know the laws in the state that you are in.
Some states allow children of a certain height to be in the car without a booster seat, and some do not specify whether an infant needs to be in a rear-facing car seat or not.
The differences in laws make this especially important if you are traveling with a little one. A state by state guide can be found here.
Don’t Assume Uber Is Exempt Because Taxis Are
Some states classify riding in an Uber as riding in a taxi. This means that if taxis are exempt from car seat laws, Ubers are too.
However, there is a lot of grey area when it comes to those exemptions, so it’s best not to test it. If your little one should have a car seat or booster seat, make sure you’re prepared.
Uber Drivers Can Refuse To Give You A Ride Without A Proper Child Restraint
If your little one is supposed to be in a car seat, your Uber driver can leave you standing in the cold if you don’t have one. They are not required to provide you with one, and most Uber drivers don’t have one, so it’s important to make sure that you have your own.
Drivers in every state will more than likely refuse to transport a family if there is a baby under 3 years old that is not in a car seat. Once you reach the height and age requirement for a booster seat, drivers tend to get a little more lenient.
However, it depends on the driver and how big your child is. A smaller 3-year-old will make a driver not want to take the risk of something happening to your little one.
A 6-year-old that is only one inch away from the height requirement probably won’t be a big deal.
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Always Consider Child Safety First
It might not seem like a big deal to go a few blocks down the road with an infant on your lap, but most car accidents happen within a few blocks from home.
If a child gets hit with an airbag, it can be fatal. Babies that are not in proper child restraints can suffer life long injuries if they are in a car accident.
Older children are often better protected because they are bigger, but this doesn’t lessen the risk. If the seat belt does not fit your little one properly, it can cut into their neck where there is a major vein.
Remember that even if it isn’t that long of a drive, and even if your Uber driver is willing to do it, it’s better not to take the risk.
Choose Lightweight Options For Uber Car Seats
Drivers are amazingly patient while you install car seats. However, that doesn’t mean that you want to be stuck lugging around a bulky car seat. Instead, go with lightweight options to make traveling with a little one easier.
Forget The Base
Even if it’s easier to install a car seat by latching it into the base (which it usually is) leave the base at home when you’re using an Uber.
These add quite a few pounds to the car seat. It just makes the entire process of traveling from one place to another a pain. That doesn’t include the extra weight you’ll have to carry around with you after you get to your destination.
Consider A Car Seat That Converts Into A Stroller
Not only are these car seats lightweight, but they make traveling with a baby easier than you knew was possible. Simply take the car seat out of the car, fold down the wheels, and you have a stroller.
It eliminates you from having to carry a car seat once you reach your destination! You also won’t need to bring a stroller along, which is a huge bonus.
Pick Up A Ride Safer Travel Vest For Children Above 3
A Ride Safer Travel Vest is a product that is designed for parents on the go. This convenient portable car seat folds up to fit in a backpack or tote styled back.
They are easy to use with the seat belt, and they are legal! These products are approved for children that are at least 3 years old and 30 pounds, making them a must-have if you plan on traveling with a toddler.
As a bonus, you can fit three people in the backseat with these, unlike bulky booster seats that take up half of the back seat.
So, Do I Need A Car Seat?
If you would use one if you were driving, you need a car seat. Make sure to follow proper safety precautions to guarantee that your little one is safe, and to make sure that you can get a lift from Uber.
Don’t forget to pick up some portable options if you travel a lot!