June 22, 2020
Car Seats in Taxis — Travelling Safely With Your Child
Safety is paramount when you and your family are on the road — especially if you’re travelling with a young child. To safeguard your child when you’re driving, you must secure them to their car seat.
You may be asking yourself: Does this apply to when you’re hitching a ride with a friend or public transportation? Does this mean you need to bring a car seat when riding in a taxi in Ontario?
Safer Travelling With Car Seats
According to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, taxi drivers are exempt from Ontario’s car seat requirements for children. Unless the drivers are transporting children for personal reasons or are operating a taxi while under contract with a school board, they do not need to provide car seats.
Unfortunately, this can be risky for your child’s safety. Car seats are effective in protecting children. The proper installment and usage of car seats reduce the likelihood of injury (by 67%) and death (by 71%) that can result from a car accident.
To ensure the safety of your child, you need to bring your own car seat when you ride a taxi.
Purchasing Car Seats
Travelling safely with your child requires you to own a car seat. If you need a new car seat or don’t already have one, here are some things you should keep in mind:
- Don’t make a decision based primarily on the price. Just because one car seat is more expensive than the other does not immediately mean that it is better.
- Check for missing parts and visible cracks. Do not accept a unit with these defects. If you’re purchasing a used car seat and it has a missing part, check with the manufacturer to see if you can get them.
- Check the manufacturing date. Car seats have an expiration date. One of the many reasons is the wearing down of materials. Old units are prone to breakage, making it unsafe.
- Look for the label. Look for the car seat’s label containing the model number and the manufacturing date. This label can help you verify whether the car seat has been recalled or not.
- Check for safety recalls. Look out for safety recalls on the car seat you are planning to buy. It should meet the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Selecting the Right Car Seat and Installation Tips
As your child grows, their needs change, too. They will need different types of car seats as they grow older. You can choose from 4 types of car seats, each with its own unique features. In addition to knowing which car seat your child needs, you also need to understand how to properly install it.
Here are a few tips for car seat selection and installation:
Rear-Facing Car Seat
This is excellent for newborn babies and young children from 1 to 3 years old. They must use this until they weigh at least 9 kilograms. This seat includes a harness. In a car crash, the harness minimizes the stress on your child’s neck and spinal cord by cradling and moving with your child.
How to Install:
- Examine the vehicle owner’s manual and car seat instructions.
- Place the seat’s harnesses in slots located below or at your child’s shoulders.
- Check the harness’ fit by pinching for any slack between your fingers.
- Place the retainer clip at the center of your child’s chest.
- Tighten the car seat with either a locked seat belt or lower anchors. It is not tight enough if you can still move the seat at the belt path for more than an inch.
- Avoid placing this in the front seat of a vehicle if it has a front passenger airbag. When the airbag activates, it hits the back of the car seat, right against your child’s head. This can result in serious injury or sudden death during a car accident.
- Adjust the car seat to the correct angle to keep your child’s head from flopping forward.
Forward-Facing Car Seat
Young children from 1 to 7 years old must use this. They should weigh between 9 kilograms and 18 kilograms. This has a tether and harness which, in the event of a car crash, limit your child’s forward movement.
How to Install:
- Examine the car seat instructions and vehicle owner’s manual.
- Check if you have tightly installed the car seat and its harness fits your child correctly.
- Move the harness to the slots that are just above or at your child’s shoulders.
- Adjust the seat’s angle so it sits upright.
- When using a seat belt, it should run through the forward-facing belt path. Tighten and lock it.
- When using the lower anchors, the combined weight of your child and the car seat should not exceed 29 kilograms.
- Always use the tether. It keeps your child’s head and the car seat from moving too far forward if the vehicle suddenly stops.
Children from 4 to 12 years old should use this. They must weigh between 18 kilograms and 36 kilograms. Booster seats boost your child up so the seat belt can restrain them safely.
How to Install:
- Read the car seat’s instructions and vehicle owner’s manual.
- This often has a plastic guide or clip that corrects the position of the vehicle’s shoulder and lap belts. Use this seat with shoulder and lap belts.
- The lap belt must lie low and should fit snuggly across your child’s upper thighs.
- The shoulder belt should cross the middle of your child’s shoulder and chest.
Children from 8 to 12 years old can use these. Also, the child should weigh 36 kilograms and have a height of 4 feet and 9 inches. A seat belt can safely restrain your child during a car crash.
How to Install:
- Place the shoulder belt across the middle of your child’s shoulder and chest.
- The lap belt must be low and should be snug across your child’s upper thighs.
- Your child must be tall enough to sit against the vehicle’s seat with their knees bent over the seat’s edge. They must feel comfortable staying in this position without slouching.
- Your child should not tuck the shoulder belt behind their back or under their arm since this leaves their upper body unprotected.
- Your child should not share their seat belt.
Protecting your child must be your top priority when it comes to travelling. Knowing more about car seats can help determine which type is the most effective for your child. You can be sure that each ride they take — whether in a taxi or your own car — is much safer.
If you and/or your family were in a car crash and you’re asking where to find a “car accident lawyer near me”, turn to Michelle Linka Law. here to help you. Our team of experienced car crash lawyers will offer you legal services so you can get the compensation you deserve. Whether you are seeking a car accident lawyer in Richmond Hill or Whitby, feel free to contact us at (416) 477-7288.