Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

Factors Surrounding Child Seat Usage in Ride-Share Services

Abstract

This project represents a collaborative, multimodal effort to understand the current state of child passenger safety with respect to rideshare vehicles and use this information to develop an effective set of outreach tools. The project team included faculty and student members from the Virginia Tech and Texas A&M Transportation Institutes. Project phases included an in-depth review of the child passenger safety regulatory literature across the United States, a series of focus groups with rideshare riders and drivers, a nationwide internet survey of knowledge and attitudes of riders and drivers, and the development of an information website with a corresponding media outreach campaign. It was found that there is a general lack of knowledge and awareness of the issues surrounding transporting children in this new transportation paradigm, and efforts must continue to be made from both educational and regulatory perspectives to clarify in what ways parents and rideshare drivers can and must safely transport children.

Project Highlights

  • This project represents a collaborative, multimodal effort to understand the current state of child passenger safety with respect to rideshare vehicles, with the aim of using this information to develop an effective set of outreach tools.
  • The project team included faculty and student members from the Virginia Tech and Texas A&M Transportation Institutes.
  • Project phases included an in-depth review of the child passenger safety regulatory literature across the United States, a series of focus groups with rideshare riders and drivers, a nationwide internet survey of riders’ and drivers’ knowledge and attitudes toward child passenger safety, and the development of an informational website with a corresponding media outreach campaign.
  • Researchers found that there is a general lack of knowledge of and awareness about the issues surrounding transporting children in this new transportation paradigm, and efforts must continue from both educational and regulatory perspectives to clarify in what ways parents and rideshare drivers can and must safely transport children.

Final Report

01-005 Final Research Report

EWD & T2 Products

KidsRideSafe.org: This website is a joint production of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, and was created to help parents, caregivers, and drivers of ride-share vehicles better understand the laws and regulations surrounding child passenger safety. Here you’ll find state-by-state guidance that will help you understand regulations and responsibilities, whether you’re looking for information about your home area or are planning a trip, with links to actual regulations for each state.

Uber.com Products Article: This reference on Family Safety on the Uber website points users the KidsRideSafe.org website as a resource to determine car seat laws by state and determine if a rider is improperly transporting a child.

Uber.com Announcement: This announcement from Uber references the KidsRideSafe.org website as a resource to determine car seat laws by state and determine if a rider is improperly transporting a child.

Student Impact Statement(pdf): Two students received funding under this project (Arwah Al-Kahtani, a summer intern from Texas A&M and Laura Barowski, a Masters’s student from VT). This file contains a statement by Laura Barowski as to the impact this project had on education and workforce development.

Presentations/Publications

Womack, K. (2019). “Use of Rideshare with Children,” presentation at 2019 Texas Child Passenger Safety Conference, Austin, TX. 

Barowski, L., Womack, K., & Owens, J.M. (2018). Factors surrounding child seat usage in ride-share vehicles. Talk presented by Laura Barowski at 2018 Lifesavers Conference, San Antonio, TX, Session: Vacation Travel Risks & What Parents Need to Know. (Published)

Owens, J.M. (2018). UTC Spotlight: Child Safety Seat Usage in Ride-Share Services. Newsletter No. 119, U.S. Department of Transportation. https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/utc/304231/utcnewsletterfebruary2018508.pdf
(Published)

Al-Kahtani, A. and Womack, K. (2017). Factors Surrounding Child Seat Usage in Ride-Share Services. Poster presented at the Texas A&M University Undergraduate Research Summer Poster Session. (Published)

Final Dataset

The final datasets for this project are located in the Safe-D Collection on the VTTI Dataverse; DOI: 10.15787/VTT1/HRG9CK.

Research Investigators (PI*)

Justin Owens (VTTI/VT)*
Katie Womack (TTI/TAMU)

Project Information

Start Date: 2017-04-01
End Date: 2019-03-11
Status: Complete
Grant Number: 69A3551747115
Total Funding: $160,366
Source Organization: Safe-D National UTC
Project Number: 01-005

Safe-D Theme Areas

Transportation as a Service

Safe-D Application Areas

Vulnerable Users
Driver Factors and Interfaces

More Information

RiP URL
UTC Project Information Form

Sponsor Organization

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
University Transportation Centers Program
Department of Transportation
Washington, DC 20590 United States

Performing Organization

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
3500 Transportation Research Plaza
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
USA

Texas A&M University
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
3135 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-3135
USA