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Ride-Sharing Services and Child Safety: What You Need to Know

Ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft have been increasingly popular, but they also sparked a lot of debate when it comes to the safety of the passengers.

People have found new ways to get around, especially in big cities, where at times it’s not convenient to drive your own car. Ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft have been increasingly popular, but they also sparked a lot of debate when it comes to the safety of the passengers and who they can hold responsible in case they get hurt while riding this type of vehicle.

Parents and guardians often need to be in different places with the little ones, taking them to kindergarten or school, different activities, or at the doctor. When you use a ride-sharing service, you entrust the driver with your and your child’s safety, and it’s very important to have the right expectations from them.

State Laws Concerning Child Safety While Ride-Sharing

The issue with child safety when it comes to restraining systems is that they need to be fit for the child’s age and measurements. While Uber and other ride-sharing services do provide the option to request a car with a child seat, they can’t choose the exact characteristics of the seat.

In Missouri, state laws are very clear about what kind of child seat should be used when transporting a minor, but they are ambiguous when it comes to ride-sharing services. Drivers who transport minors are required to make sure that the child is restrained, but they don’t specify who should provide the system or who should secure the child in it.

Many times, the parents themselves provide the car seat and secure the child in it, or they accept the car seat that comes with the car and secure the child in it. However, not being included specifically in an exclusion clause (like taxis are, for example), can make matters even more confusing.

Transporting Unaccompanied Minors in a Ride-Sharing Car

Because of the potential issues that may arise when being responsible for someone else’s minor child, Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing services make it very clear in their terms of service that unaccompanied minors are not allowed to use the service. However, this rule can be overlooked because the drivers are not required to ask for an ID from every passenger, but may have the right to do so if they believe that their passenger is underage. 

With teens using the service, this can be a complicated task, since some of them may pass as 18-year-olds, and the driver is reluctant to ask for an ID, out of fear of getting a bad review or being forced to cancel the ride.

As a parent, Uber, Lyft or other similar options can be saviors when you have to get your child from one place to another. However, it’s also important to know that you are responsible for the safety of your child when putting them in a ride-sharing service, and you might be held liable too in case something happens during the ride.

If you or your child has been injured in a car accident while riding an Uber or Lyft, get in touch with a St. Louis car accident attorney as soon as possible.

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Updated: August 18, 2021