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Who Is Responsible for Ensuring the Safety of Child Passengers During a Rideshare?

With rideshare services like Uber and Lyft becoming more and more popular, the question is being raised, “Who is responsible for installing car seats?” If you and your child decide to grab a ride in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, and your child needs a car seat, who is responsible for ensuring that they are properly restrained in the car? If you were driving a child in your own vehicle, you’d certainly be responsible for ensuring they were properly restrained, but since it’s not your vehicle, what does the law say?

 

Who Is Responsible for Rideshare Car Seats?

The answer to the above question is not likely what you are expecting. If you are the rideshare driver, you should probably be cautious transporting a young client based on Georgia laws. Georgia law states that children under the age of eight are required to ride in approved child restraint seating systems and the driver of the car shall provide such restraint to the child that is appropriate for the child’s weight and height. The only exceptions to the law are medical conditions that prevent the child from being properly restrained and school buses that are used to transport children over the age of four.

 

Rideshare Drivers and Car Seats

When it comes to rideshare services, Georgia defines these services as any entity or person that uses an internet or digital network to connect rideshare drivers to passengers for the purpose of transportation for donation or hire arrangement. This does not include corporate-sponsored vanpool as long as the service is not being operated to generate a profit.

Under current laws, the only types of passenger vehicles that are exempt from child restraint laws are public transit vehicles and taxi cabs. However, the law also states that rideshare services do not meet the qualifications of these vehicles and are therefore not exempt. This means rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, must follow all laws regarding child restraints.

 

Liability and Rideshare Car Seat Usage

If rideshare services are required to restrain minors in appropriate child restraints, does that mean they are liable if an accident occurs and the child wasn’t restrained? The answer is most likely yes. There may be a few exceptions based on a child’s size. Georgia law states that children over 4’9” tall may be transported without a child restraint system, however, they must still wear a seatbelt. Children that weigh at least 40 pounds can be restrained with only a lap belt if the vehicle doesn’t have a shoulder belt or if all shoulder belts in the vehicle are being used to restrain smaller children. Children must also be seated only in rear seats unless all rear seats are filled by other children, in which case the front seat may be used to restrain children in appropriate restraining systems.

 

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

If you have questions about whether a child must be restrained in a rideshare vehicle or not, or if your child has been injured while being transported in a rideshare vehicle, the Atlanta Uber Accident attorneys at Council & Associates, LLC can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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