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The National Academies

BTSCRP BTS-11 [Active]

Ensuring Child Safety in For-Hire Rideshare Vehicles

  Project Data
Funds: $350,000
Staff Responsibility: Richard Retting
Research Agency: Johns Hopkins University
Principal Investigator: Jonathan Eshani
Effective Date: 6/9/2020
Completion Date: 6/9/2022
Comments: Research underway

BACKGROUND

 

Child restraint systems (CRS) are a proven method for reducing injuries to children.  While there is little information on how CRS are used in rideshare vehicles and taxis, current data suggests that CRS use in taxis is much lower (5.9%) compared to personal use vehicles (92.8%) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0361198119843091. In the United States, rideshare vehicle use offered by services such as Lyft and Uber, has increased dramatically in the last few years.  According to the Pew Research Center, in late 2015, only 15% of those surveyed said they had used these services (one-third had never heard of ridesharing); by the end of 2018, 36% had used such services and 3% had never heard of them. Rideshare use in urban and suburban areas seems certain to grow at a rapid pace. One issue that has received little attention is the transportation of children in rideshare vehicles, particularly child safety seat installation and use. Car seats, especially for toddlers and small children, can be bulky, heavy, and challenging to handle outside of the vehicle. Inside vehicles, the options for correct installation can be as varied as the combination of vehicles and car seats available, and traveling with two or more children adds to the complexity.  Initial surveys that examined the issue suggest widespread regulatory inconsistency on child seat use and confusion on the part of caregivers and for-hire drivers.  Moreover, there is a lack of research on best practice approaches for promoting child safety in for-hire ride share scenarios. 

 

Child passenger safety inspection stations are places or events where parents and caregivers can receive assistance from certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians. Prior research has suggested that primary care providers and child passenger safety technicians may be important conduits of child passenger safety information to caregivers, but more research is needed given the rapidly evolving rideshare environment.

 

OBJECTIVE

 

The objective of this research is to develop a guide to identify and prioritize the types of behavioral interventions needed to improve child passenger (defined as children under 13 years of age) safety in the for-hire rideshare environment, including taxis.  The guide should include tools, policy alternatives, educational strategies and messages, corporate best practices, and other relevant approaches to promote child passenger safety through increased child restraint system use.

 

The final deliverables shall include (1) the guide to identify and prioritize the types of behavioral interventions needed to improve child passenger (defined as children under 13 years of age) safety in the for-hire rideshare environment, including taxis; (2) a final report documenting the entire project and incorporating all other specified deliverable products of the research; (3) an electronic presentation of the guidance that can be tailored for specific audiences; (4) a technical memorandum describing the strengths and limitations of the research and recommendations for additional research; and (5) a stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products (see Special Note B for additional information).

STATUS: Research underway.

 

 

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