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Taxi Safety 101

The do’s and don’ts of riding in cabs with babies

We’ve been on a mission to find trust-worthy advice on how to travel safely in a cab without a car seat, but the answer keeps coming back the same: just because it’s legal to take your baby in a taxi without a car seat doesn’t mean it’s safe.

“Holding a child on your lap is out of the question,” says Jamie Grayson (a.k.a. The Baby Guy NYC). “In a collision, any person or item not restrained becomes a missile. A person’s body weight is multiplied by the speed of the collision, so an infant can weigh 300 pounds and you CANNOT keep that in your arms—no matter how strong you think you are. Many people also wear children and place the seat belt between their body and the carrier. It has been documented that children can be ejected from carriers using this method. The adult’s head will also move due to whiplash and can cause serious injury to the baby.”

Okay, then. Car seats it is. Grayson and his colleague Jennifer Link from Sweet Pea Baby Planners offer these helpful tips for reducing the stress and aggravation of schlepping a car seat on taxi rides:

According to the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, drivers must allow passengers to install car seats, if they wish. But if you’ve got an impatient driver, offer to start running the meter as soon as you begin installation and tip a few extra dollars. Install the seat curbside, and don’t shut the door until you are inside.  Install rear-facing infant seats in the middle seat, using the lap belt. Install boosters in a window seat, since the shoulder belt must be used. Check your instructions regarding placement of the carry-handle; some models allow the handle to remain in the carry position, which means one less step in installation.

For additional questions regarding car seat safety and installations, we recommend contacting The Car Seat Lady, a tremendous resource for any and all car seat concerns.