Just how safe are your children in New York City taxis? The answer could be "not too" or "very" - it all depends on how you look at statistics on the subject matter. As a New Yorker, it is safe to say that this is one of the hottest topics on many a mind.
The leading cause of death among young children has been found to be motor vehicle injuries. This is in accordance with data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can find more on this here. The majority of these deaths can be prevented through the use of child restraint devices such as booster seats and car seats. Our legal team at Banville Law has handled many cab accident settlement cases specifically dealing with the matter of kid's safety in cabs.
All states have regulatory laws that are put in place to govern the use of child restraint devices; however, some areas such as New York City deliberately exempt for-hire vehicle services from these laws. This makes it legal for children to ride in taxis without restraint devices. In such areas, parents are strongly advised to bring their own car seats for child safety. It's the strangest thing - that it's extremely dangerous to ride with small children in cars without a booster seat or car seat; however, in New York City we bury our heads in the sand and whiz about in taxis when the need calls with kids unrestrained.
Based on a study by The Car Seat Lady in the year 2000, it was found that 2,600 children were wounded in 17,000 taxi-related accidents. The Car Seat Lady is a group lobbying the city to put in place strict regulations on cab general safety so as to make taxicabs safer for kids.
While it is inevitable that accidents happen; you have the power to prevent injuries. Have no regrets by ensuring that you play your part to protect your children. It's upon you to ensure that playdate or taxi ride to school does not end in your child being hospitalized. So, for starters, the best practice in taxis is to make use of a car restraint. More on this subject plus excellent advice on taxicab child safety visit The Car Seat Lady.
Never let your kids ride unrestrained in a taxicab. A seat belt is always better than nothing. It is actually recommended that parents should install car seats in cabs; however, the door should be left open until you are ready for the cab to move. In other words, you should shut the door after being fully satisfied that your child is safely buckled up. It's also advisable to give part of the tip to the cabby upfront so as to keep the patient as you install the seat for your child.
That said there are things to consider if it necessitates your child to ride in a taxi without a car seat. It is strongly cautioned not to buckle two passengers into one seat belt. This taxicab practice is commonly referred to as the "child crusher" position. If the taxi in line does not have a booster or a car seat, buckle your kid into their own seat belt. Always use the right car restraint for your child and remember that your child can never receive the required protection from an adult seat belt.
Avoid placing your child on your lap while riding in a taxicab. In the event that an accident occurs when your child is on your lap, they will become a flying object.
Bottom line is - there is no safe or any particularly recommended way to take a taxicab with your children unless they are safely restrained in a car seat in the cab. Whatever happens, be sure to ensure the safety of your child and avoid any potential passenger accidents as much as possible.
Up next, read up on airports and how they affect the taxi industry: https://banvillelaw.com/airports-affect-new-yorks-taxi-industry/