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Tips to Ride Safely in a Taxi With Your Child

Do you ride safely in a Taxi or ride share service in NYC with your kids?

In big cities like New York, owning a car is rare and taking the taxi for short or long distances is the only way to go. This was a big difference, when moving from Germany to the U.S, and we were not aware of the challenges that would come with it.

Most germans that are  living in NYC will know the problem. You are transporting your child in a taxi, car service or ride share but you don’t want to haul your car seat along with you. And while in Germany most taxi services provide a car seat for your child, this is not the case in NYC.

A common thing parents do is put their child in their lap and buckle the seat belt on top of both of them. This is a really dangerous thing to do.

WHY IS THIS DANGEROUS?

The equation to determine restraining force is speed x weight. For instance, if you are  about 200 pounds so if and in a 10 mph crash, it will require 2,000 lbs of force on this seat belt to restrain you and hold you from moving forward.

If a child were on your lap between you and the seat belt, he’s going to have to absorb all 2,000 lbs of you trying to move forward with the seat belt holding you back. This is extremely dangerous and potentially fatal for a young person restrained between the seat belt and parent.

SO HOW DO YOU TRAVEL WITH YOUR CHILD IN A TAXI SAFELY?

Worst case scenario, you would put the child in the vehicle seat next to you and buckle him up.

How can you do this legally? In most cities, taxis and car services are exempt from the state’s child restraint law (but often not ride share services). This doesn’t make it safe but it is safer than the child riding in an adult’s lap.

Ideally you want the child to be in a restraint system so he is getting optimum protection regardless of what the law says. The laws of physics don’t change regardless of what type of vehicle you are in.

The number one purpose of the seat belt is to keep occupants in the vehicle. With this scenario of the child in the vehicle seat and buckled on his own, you are at least achieving that.

The second principle is to contact the strongest points of the body. A seat belt should contact the hips and shoulders. A seat belt does not properly do that on a small child. Plus if the shoulder portion is high on the neck it may cause discomfort, making the child want to put it behind them or under their arm. This then makes the seat belt become a lap-only belt which is extremely dangerous for a young child’s stomach organs.

Being buckled on the vehicle seat is better than being buckled with an adult or not being buckled at all.

Another option provides safety along with convenience is using a Ride Safer Travel Vest. This is a certified child restraint for children 3 years old and up that is easy to transport. You can carry it in a backpack and pull it out when you are ready to get into a taxi with your child. We think the Ride Safer Travel Vest is the safest option and also a great gadget to take with you on your trips to Germany.

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