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RideSafer FAQs

All your questions about the RideSafer Travel Vest answered. If you don’t see your question, use our Live Chat below to ask.

General RideSafer

What is the difference between the Ride Safer Travel Vest and a booster?

A booster seat elevates the child to fit the adult seat belt. The Ride Safer Travel Vest brings the seat belt down to fit the child which also optimizes the existing vehicle seat belt system to protect the child by keeping a low center of gravity and allowing the vehicle seat belt and seat cushion to manage the crash forces. The vest’s belt guides place the seat belt into the correct pre-crash position and moves with the child.

So they don’t sit in a booster seat?

That is correct. No more belt positioning booster seat necessary. The booster has long been the only known tool for helping the adult seat belt fit the kids. Where a booster is used to lift the child to try to make the adult seat belt fit better on the child, the RideSafer is used to bring the seat belt down to the child with 3 main benefits:

  1. Crash dynamics would say the child is safer in the vehicle seat. This gives the child a lower center of mass and puts her back further from the vehicle seats in front of her.
  2. The seat belt is properly positioned on the child’s body — low on the hips/lap and mid chest mid-shoulder and moves with the child.
  3. The front panels are designed to absorb and dissipate the crash energy of the seat belt as it crosses the child’s body.

The manufacturer has released the Delighter Booster that has been crash tested with generation 3 and Delight models of the RideSafer and can be used with it for those younger children who wish to see out the window.

If it's safer to be in the vehicle seat, why did the manufacturer release the Delighter Booster for use with the RideSafer?

Some parents like that their child can see out the window and complained that their child couldn’t using just the RideSafer. Plus Europe and a very few states require children be “elevated”. So having a safe booster seat option that is crash tested with the RideSafer was a way for more flexibility and worldwide acceptance.

Don't I need a 5-point harness for a 3-year-old?
  • The RideSafer has been crash tested and certified for children as young as 3 yrs old and 30 pounds.
  • As CPS techs ourselves and as safety advocates we do recommend that, if a child has a 5-point harness, they continue to use it as their primary restraint and use the RideSafer for all those times when moving the car seat is not convenient or practical.
  • There are some parents, including us, who choose to use the RideSafer as their primary restraint starting at 3 years old. And for those situations we recommend that they use it with a tether strap, which offers the added support and protection of the tether when used in addition to the lap-shoulder belt.
Is it for every day use or just for convenience when necessary?
  • It can be used either way.
  • We have personally been using the RideSafer exclusively for our children, starting in 2012 when our daughter was 4 and our older son was almost 6. We began using the RideSafer for our youngest as his daily restraint when he was 3.5 years old.
  • We have many customers who use it as the primary restraint because they need the room it provides.
  • Some parents who travel via taxi LOVE it because, for the first time, their child is protected in the taxi.
  • We also have many customers who only use it for travel
  • And probably many others who use it somewhere in between.

RideSafer Legality

Is the Ride Safer Travel Vest legal in my state?
  • As a FMVSS 213 certified child restraint, Ride Safer Delight (and the old model RideSafer 2) is a legal alternative to belt positioning boosters in all States that do not require the child’s body to be elevated off the vehicle seat and when used according to our instructions.
  • We have compiled a list of state laws for each state of the United States and comment about the legality of using the RideSafer in regard to the law for each state. Click here to see our list of state’s child restraint laws.
Is the RideSafer 3 a FMVSS 213 certified restraint?
  • The current model RideSafer Delight is federally-approved, FMVSS 213-certified child restraint.
  • The old model RideSafer 3 says “tested to FMVSS 213” and the RideSafer 2 says “FMVSS 213 Certified”. While the RideSafer 3 crash tests just as well as a RideSafer 2 (which is certified) because it can’t be used with a lap-only belt (a harness requirement) nor does it elevate the child (a booster seat requirement) it falls between two NHTSA categories and therefore cannot be “certified”. Get more information about the legality of the RideSafer versions here.

RideSafer Particulars

Where is the manual?

The manual for the RideSafer vests is stored in the pocket on the right inside of the vest. If you need a new manual, you can download a PDF version from here: http://ridesafertravelvest.com/manuals/

Does the Ride Safer Travel Vest have an expiration date?
  • RideSafer Delight vests have a 10-year expiration date.
  • RideSafer 2 vests manufactured between December 2015 and June 2016 have a 7-year expiration date.
  • RideSafer 2 vests manufactured between April 2014 and December 2015 have a 10-year expiration date.
  • RideSafer 3 vests manufactured after March 2014 have a 7-year expiration date
  • All vests manufactured between December 2013 and March 2014 have a 10 year expiration date.
  • All vests manufactured between 2004 and December 2013 do not have an expiration date.

You can find information for your particular vest on the inside label: ride safer expiration

Can the Ride Safer Travel Vest be recycled?

Yes. The manufacturer offers a recycle program. Please contact our customer support for details about the recycle program. We also offer a trade-up program for those who have purchased a small from us and would like to move into a large as their child grows. Read more about the trade-up program here.

Can the RideSafer be used with a lap only belt or is lap-shoulder required?

The RideSafer Delight (or old model RideSafer 2) can be used with a lap-only belt in those middle rear seats or middle seat of a truck in older vehicles because it is designed to be used with the tether strap which attaches to both shoulders and the vehicle’s tether anchor point when used with a lap only belt.

If your vehicle does not offer a tether anchor in that seating position, then we do offer an accessory called the Energy Absorbing Tether Anchor Loop (EATAL) which depending on the vehicle may be used to create a tether anchor point. Learn more about that here.

Can I use the top tether on the Ride Safer Delight with a lap-shoulder belt?
  • Yes! This mode of use is tested and approved by Safe Traffic System, Inc. for the vests. Using the tether in addition to the lap and shoulder belt would reduce the rear passengers’ tendency for the unrestrained shoulder to rotate toward the front seat during a crash. Using the tether also offers additional upper body support for special needs children or extra wiggly children.
  • When using the tether and the lap-shoulder belt, because the seat belt is doing the vast majority of the upper body restraining and not the tether, they can continue to use the single tether all the way up to the 80 pounds. The dual tether is only required when the vest is doing all the restraining in a lap-only belt situation.
Can I use it in the front passenger seat?

It is highly dependent upon all the variables of your transport needs but we will do our best to guide you in making the decision.

  • All occupants, especially children under 13 years of age, are safer in the back seats of a car as they are further from the point of impact in a frontal crash which means they experience less crash force
  • The RideSafer Delight vest is crash tested to be used with lap-shoulder belts or a lap-only belt and tether strap
  • There is nothing inherent to using the vest that would prevent you from using it in the front seat, but if you do, you will want to move the seat back and make sure your child is correctly positioned in an upright seating position and sitting back correctly outside the airbag deployment zone
What if I have an "escape artist" child?

We have had many parents tell us the RideSafer is just what they needed for their little “escape artist” but we can’t make any guarantees. We have a very generous trial period for you to try it out and see of it is going to work for you and your family. Read more about our return policy here.

  • We would recommend to use the tether and possibly the crotch strap.
  • We also suggest “locking” the seat belt like you would when installing a car seat.
  • And to make sure he does not unbuckle the vehicle seat belt, consider using the Buckle Boss Buckle Guard here.
How do I clean the RideSafer?

You can spot clean for little messes. For big messes you can soak in a mild detergent and water then allow to air dry. Do not machine wash.

What do I do with the RideSafer if my children had lice?

We like ‘sealing in an airtight bag such as a Vacuum Sealed bag or tightly tied trash bag for 14 days’ the best.  (We realized this is not always prudent as parents need to use the car seats.) Then vacuum out the top and bottom layers of all fabric to assure that as many of the eggs are gone as possible.

According to the NPA, vacuuming is the safest way to remove lice and fallen hairs with attached nits from upholstered furniture, rugs, stuffed animals, or car seats — wherever someone with head lice may have rested their head.

For items that cannot be soaked in hot water such as headsets or helmets or the RideSafer, it is recommended to place them in a tightly sealed plastic bag and put them in a freezer for 10-12 hours to kill the lice and eggs.

The RideSafer cannot be washed in hot water. It will damage the flame retardant properties and may shrink some of the fabric pieces. IMMI prohibits machine washing and using dryers for the buckles on the older models because of the agitation and spin cycles.

What is the main difference between the Ride Safer 2 and Ride Safer 3 Travel Vest?

The current model, RideSafer Delight, vest combines the tetherablity of the old model RideSafer 2 and the adjustability of the old model RideSafer 3 in one vest.

The main differences between the two old model vest versions is the allowed mode of use:

Version 2:

  • can be used with a lap-only seat belt as long as the top tether is used
  • can be used with or without the tether with a lap-shoulder belt

Version 3 has additional adjustability in the harness that does not allow it to be tethered therefore cannot be used with a lap-only seat belt. Version 3:

  • can only be used with the lap-shoulder belt.

How the RideSafer Fits

Is it OK there is a gap between my child’s shoulders and the vest?

Yes. It is acceptable to have a gap between the shoulders and the top of the vest as long as the shoulder portion of the seat belt is:

  • Below the bottom of the earlobe of the child
  • Correctly routed through the shoulder belt guide
  • Crossing the center chest
Is it OK that the lap belt bunches?

You want keep the lap belt free of twists and as flat as possible across the thighs. It is OK if the lap belt bunches some and it is not a safety issue but we do want it to stay in the clips so if it is coming out, here are a couple things that you can try:

  • As odd as it may sound, you can loosen the belt just a bit to not put so much tension on it. By using the vest you have lowered and moved your child back several inches into the protected area of the seat space. The small amount of “slack” that you allow in the system by leaving it in a “neutral” tension versus pulling tight will not negatively affect crash performance.
  • The goal is to have the seat belt pre-crash positioned on the lap and shoulder. It does not need to be “pushing down” on the child’s lap, just lying there is sufficient. I know this is a new feeling after so many years of using 5-point harness seats. Think of the vest more like you would a booster (only better). It is a seat belt positioning device with some added features.

If you are still having problems with the belt coming out of the clips, take a picture of the clip (slip the clip out of the vest and lay it on it’s side and snap a quick pic of the profile) and email it with the subject line “Seat belt buckling out of clips”. There was a short period where the manufacturer was using a clip that had a little wider opening. If we see that these are the clips you have, we can send a couple replacements ASAP.

Can a 3-year-old wear a vest?

The RideSafer® is crash tested down to 3 years old and 30+ pounds, so the simple answer is “yes,” a 3-year-old can wear the vest. With that being said, if the child is primarily in a 5-point restraint that still fits them it can continue to be their primary restraint AND when they go on a play date, are riding in someone else’s car or you are traveling, the vest gives you flexibility and peace of mind that they are riding safely in an easy to install child restraint.

Can my child who is younger than 3 but within the weight and height specifications use the vest?

On the younger side, we would recommend being at least 3 for developmental and behavioral reasons. The specifications adopted by the manufacturer are strictly based on the 3-year-old test dummy which is based on a 50% child. If your child is big for his/her age they would most likely fit the vest.

The truth is that whether forward facing in a 5 point harness or forward facing in the RideSafer vest, in a frontal crash (the most common type), the end mechanism is the same. We are restraining his body with the harness or vest/seat belt and his head is being thrust forward, dependent upon his neck to hold back his disproportionally large head. The potential for injury is virtually the same.

However, using the vest for a younger child would be outside the manufacturers specifications. Some states legally require caregivers to use a child restraint according to manufacturer’s specifications. Of course, if the issue is using the vest or nothing at all, we certainly would rather have him in the vest for safety.

Can my child who is older than 8 use the vest?

For children older than 8 but still less than 80 pounds, on this side the age is more of an average than a recommendation. The bigger size kids can wear the vest to the upper weight limit just like other child restraints.

The 8-year-old limit is based on lap-only with tether strap usage.

We used the vest with our oldest child until he passed the 5-step test at 9.5 years old.

Can the RideSafer be used for children over 80 pounds?
  • The RideSafer has not been crash tested beyond the 80 pounds.
  • The upper weight limit is based on the crash test dummies required by FMVSS-213. If the manufacturer rates the vest higher than 80 pounds they would have to use the 10-year-old dummy and the vest would not fit or, therefore, test well.
  • The 80 pound upper limit is based on the lap-only situation. Understand that the RideSafer® vest, when used with the vehicle lap and shoulder belt is acting as a seat belt, pre-crash positioning device and not actively involved in restraining the child, that is being done by the vehicle’s seat belt system.

While you will be using the product outside manufacturer specifications, if you are using a lap and shoulder belt and your child is over 80 pounds and the vest still fits your child, meaning the lower flaps are horizontal on the child’s lap and the shoulder clip is holding the seat belt mid-chest/mid-shoulder, there is no danger to continuing to use it beyond the 80 pounds until the child can pass the 5-step seat belt test.

What if I have a special needs child over 80lbs?

The best answer for this is, “it depends.” As CPS techs we would find out more about your situation and recommend the best solution for keeping your child safe which may or may not include the RideSafer vest.

  • The vest is certified to 80lbs. but that certification is based on the tether and lap-only belt configuration.
  • If someone is using the RideSafer and the vehicle’s lap-shoulder belt the RideSafer will continue to do what it is designed to do and properly pre-crash position the seat belt. Even though they would technically be outside manufacturer specs once they understand the design limits they have a parental choice to make.
  • Sometimes another product is the best solution. Until an extra large RideSafer is available, we would recommend the Merritt Manufacturing Churchill restraint.
Do I Need the Dual Tether?

The dual tether is for children who weigh more than 60 pounds and use a lap-only seat belt. The dual tether will attach to a RideSafer Delight at the shoulder clips and tether to two different tether anchor points. It is rated up to 80 pounds. When using the tether and the lap-shoulder belt, because the seat belt is doing the vast majority of the upper body restraining and not the tether, they can use the single tether all the way up to the 80 pounds. The dual tether is only required when the vest is doing all the restraining in a lap-only belt situation.

RideSafer in the Vehicle

Can I use the RideSafer in a rear-facing vehicle seat?

No. The manufacturer says the RideSafer is not to be used in a rear facing vehicle seat in passenger class vehicles as the recent models have not been crash tested this way.  The manufacturer does permit use in rear facing seats in Class 4+ vehicles with the understanding that there is no way they can test this.

When I tugged the seat belt it didn’t lock, is it working?

There are 2 types of Emergency Locking Retractors on seat belts.

  1. “Belt Sensitive” which locks up when you tug on it very quickly.
  2. “Vehicle Sensitive” which relies on a sudden change in direction and cannot be tested with the rapid tug. It has a “universal inertia mechanism” device built into the retractor and will only lock up when there is a significant change in direction.

Many vehicle manufacturers place the Belt Sensitive system in front seats and the Vehicle Sensitive systems in the back seat for passenger comfort. If you are more confident in the vehicle system functionality, there is no harm in engaging the ALR when using the RideSafer® by slowly pulling the seat belt all the way out. But in most cases we do not recommend it simply because when engaging the ALR mode on the retractor the seat belt tends to get tighter and tighter with each bump and corner, which could become uncomfortable for the child after a while.

Is the RideSafer safe to use in a car with curtain airbags?

Yes, it is. All air bags (frontal or side) are supplemental safety devices and are intended to work best in combination with safety belts. Therefore, NHTSA recommends that:

  • ALL children use a safety restraint appropriate for their age and size (this could be a safety seat, booster seat or adult safety belt).
  • Children aged 12 and younger are safest sitting in the rear seat properly restrained.
  • NEVER place a rear-facing infant seat in the front seat of a vehicle with a front passenger air bag.
  • To minimize injury risks, NHTSA recommends that children not lean or rest against chest-only or head/chest combination SABs.
  • NHTSA has not seen any indication of risks to children from current roof-mounted head SABs.

NHTSA continues to closely monitor the real world performance of side airbags involving children and adults. You can read additional information about side airbags on SaferCar.gov.

Can I use the RideSafer with an Inflatable Seat Belt?

The manufacturer of the RideSafer® Travel Vest, Safe Traffic System Inc., does permit the use of Inflatable Seat Belts with the Ride Safer Travel Vests. Please contact us for a replacement shoulder belt guide that will allow for correct fit with the inflatable seat belt. Version 1 vests cannot be retrofitted with the ISB Seat Belt Guide. Read more about inflatable seat belts. Click here, for a list of other manufacturer’s policies.

Can I use the RideSafer in an RV?

It depends. RVs present some unique challenges, design features and benefits. Lets start with the challenges:

  1. To the best of our knowledge only the front two seats are considered “motor vehicle seats” and the rest, though they may have a lap seat belt, are not regulated by federal standards. I may be mistaken on this and the only way to know for sure for your vehicle is to talk to the manufacturer about your make and model to find out.
  2. In a lap only belt the RideSafer requires the use of the tether strap which comes included with the RideSafer Delight. The challenge in an RV is that it likely does not have tether anchor points for you to connect to. If we are talking a “dining table” type bench seat you may also be limited by not having access to the area under and behind the bench seat. IF you have a “captains chair” life gets a little easier by using the EATAL accessory to create a tether anchor point.

A few things about about RVs and their design:

  1. RV’s are much larger than passenger cars which works to their advantage should you ever be involved in a crash with another car. Plus, they are very visible.
  2. Most car crashes occur in the city versus out on the highway where traffic is typically traveling in the same direction on a divided highway. When crashes do occur on a highway they are typically a “leaving the road scenario” and the goal is to keep everyone inside the vehicle. If they are a head on scenario, you will want everyone to be optimally restrained to increase survivability.
  3. RVs have, statistically, very low probability of being involved in a crash versus passenger cars.

You are welcome to call us at 844-421-SAFE (7233) or chat with us online to discuss your specific vehicle.

RideSafer in a Crash

Can you explain how this protects them from a side impact like the extra padding and sides of a car seat has?

Before we go into detail I would like to mention that the primary audience for the RideSafer is a “booster age” child. There are benefits to the RideSafer, especially when you consider a backless booster which does not offer any of the side/padding protections. Some things to consider:

  • Side impacts are one of the least frequent types of car crashes statistically
  • Side impacts are also one of the most preventable types of car crashes. What I mean is that we, as the driver of our vehicle, have to put ourselves in front of an oncoming car. Almost always we can see far enough down the road to identify wether or not oncoming traffic is or is not stopping. In 18 years in the fire service I never saw a side impact occur in the middle of a block.
  • With concern to padding and support let’s look at what happens in a crash. All objects in a vehicle will move simultaneously toward the point of impact and that includes the occupants and all child restraints. I think we as parents have a vision of our child flying into a “rigid” car seat but in reality you might be surprised how far a “correctly installed” car seat moves in a crash.
  • Envision something like stalks of wheat being blown in the wind. Though they are very close to each other they are all being blown in the same direction and therefore if they do make contact it is likely a very low energy event because they are all moving the same direction reducing the odds of any kind of high energy impact with a neighboring object.
  • The vehicle itself has crash protection like side airbags that engage to offer protection for older children and adult passengers
How does the RideSafer fit in the new side-impact requirements?

The proposed side-impact testing for child restraint systems is for restraints for children under 40 pounds and excludes “Harness Restraints”, such as the RideSafer, from the testing requirement. Part of the reason is that harnesses and vests have no structural components to offer side impact protection while they do fill a much needed niche in the car seat world. NHTSA realizes that children over 40 pounds who are riding in appropriate child restraints are positioned in such way that they are better able to benefit from the side impact occupant technology mandated by FMVSS 214, which regulates how vehicles are built for side-impact protection. NHTSA estimates the side impact testing requirement will save 5 lives and prevent 64 injuries of children annually. Read more here.

Are leg injuries common in forward-facing children? How is the Ride Safer different?

car crash child leg injuriesAlthough it is often thought that leg injuries are extremely common, the truth is only 9% of injuries forward-facing are to the legs — and another 9% to the arms. And it’s not because the legs fly up; it’s because there is limited space between the front and back seats. So by using a high back booster or child restraint with harness we are pushing the child further forward. A benefit of the Ride Safer is that we are optimizing the seat belt, vehicle seat cushions and vehicles internal geometry to keep children low and farther back. We have NO reports of leg injuries from users that have been involved in crashes with the RideSafer®.

Do I need to replace my Ride Safer Travel Vest after a crash?

Yes. Here is the Crashed Vest Protocol:

  1. If the tether was used, Vest & Tether must be replaced.
  2. If the Energy Absorbent Tether Anchor Loops or Extenders were used, all pieces must be replaced including vest.
  3. If the lap-shoulder belt was used vest must be replaced if ANY of the following occurred:
    1. There was injury to any of the occupants in the car
    2. If any of the airbags deployed
    3. If there was damage to the door next to the child
    4. If the car is not able to be driven away crash
    5. Any visible damage to the vest

As a certified child passenger restraint, the vest should be included in any insurance claim reimbursement. Contact us to determine your next step if you are in a crash while your RideSafer is being used. To view more about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations policies on replacing any child restraint after a crash, click here.

Comfort

Do I have to use the crotch strap and/or neck/head pillow?
  • No. The crotch strap is not required for use as long as the child is mature enough to sit upright during the entire trip.
  • No. The neck pillow is optional. It is there for the comfort of the child. If you do use it it goes behind the neck.

What can I do if my child moves around a lot or falls asleep and slouches over?

One great thing about the vest is that it positions the seat belt to the child even when the child moves out of correct seating position in the vehicle. That being said, it would be safest if the child was sitting up correctly.

  • To accomplish this you can lock the seat belt. With most seat belts you do this by pulling it all the way out and letting it go back in. While it goes in you’ll hear a quiet clicking and when you pull it it won’t come back out, then you know it’s locked.
  • You also can use the top tether to help support the child in sitting correctly. Some children find it more comfortable to sit “criss-cross-applesauce” with the vest on.
  • We also recommend another product called the Cardiff headrest. It’s a great companion to the vest for those children (or long rides) who fall asleep and could use a place to rest their head. You can find it on our store here.
Can I use it with a backless booster so my child can see out the window?
  • The RideSafer manufacturer has released the Delighter Booster, which has been crash tested with generation 3 and Delight models of the RideSafer vest. It’s super lightweight and entirely made of foam so softer and more comfortable than the hard plastic boosters with minimal padding. (Please note: while the generation 3 manuals will not have the Delighter Booster as an acceptable accessory, the manufacturer has crash tested the booster and approves the use with a generation 3 RideSafer 2 or RideSafer 3.)
  • Technically, using the RideSafer with another manufacturer’s booster seat would be using both products outside of their respective manufacturer’s specifications because they were not crash tested together, thus removing any liability from the manufacturers/resellers.
Can my child wear a coat with the vest?

Yes. With many child restraints it is recommended that the child not wear a heavy coat under the harness straps as the bulk will compress during a crash and the straps would be loose (CPS technicians typically suggest nothing thicker than sweatshirt material under the harness strap). However, a child can wear a heavier coat underneath the Ride Safer® Travel Vest. See our video.

Sizes

When is my child ready for the next size?

The vest is a seat belt positioning device which means that the fit of the vest on the child is less important than the positioning of the seat belt on the child. The seat belt is doing the restraining (when using the lap/shoulder belt) not the vest.

  • Even if the vest is loose on the child, as long as the seat belt is low on the hips/lap and the shoulder portion is mid chest/mid shoulder then we are accomplishing the desired outcome.
  • The weight limits on the vest are less relevant than height. FMVSS 213 requires that they include weight in the specs but it does not really play into how the vest functions (unless you are using a lap-only belt with the tether).
  • If the “lap flap” is starting to be pulled from a horizontal orientation into a vertical one then it is time to move up to the large. The large will likely be loose at first but based on the understanding above that “looseness” does not negatively affect crash performance you can feel confident that your little ones are still protected.
Does the vest fit older "booster age" children?

The 50-80 pounds is the largest available at this time. The Large (50-80 pounds) covers many children in the 6-10 year old or older range. Many children start to fit in the vehicles seat belt when they reach 4 foot 9 inches.

Will there ever be an XL RideSafer?

The manufacturer is looking into what their sales volume would be and if we could make an Extra Large size available at a reasonable cost. However, it may take a year or two in development.

Traveling with Kids

What do you recommend for international travel?

We believe the RideSafer® is a fabulous option when traveling with children who are within the age and size limits of the vest.

What if my car or taxi is older and doesn't have a tether anchor?

Depending on where you go, the age and type of vehicle in which you will be riding can be unpredictable.

If your taxi is so old it only offer lap belts in the rear seat, you might want to consider putting your child in the front seat with a lap-shoulder belt in the RideSafer®.

  • Here is what you will want to do to make is as safe as possible:
    • Put your child in the RideSafer and sit them in the front seat
    • Slide the seat as far to the rear as possible (to move them away from the dash and out of the deployment zone of a passenger airbag)
    • Buckle the vehicle seat belt (lap-only or lap-shoulder) and secure to the RideSafer belt positioning clips
What do I do if I'm traveling by taxi with a child younger than 3?

Unfortunately, in some places it is not uncommon for moms to strap themselves and their young children into the same seat belt when riding in taxis. We are sure the logic is something like, “they are safer in the seat belt with me than being without a seat belt at all and the seat belt doesn’t even come close to fitting them right when they use it by them self.”

  • In most places around the world, taxis and car services are exempt from any child seat laws that may be in place for the private person.
  • Strapping yourself in with a child is a very dangerous practice and is not recommended. Here is why:
    • In a car crash the formula we use to estimate how much force is required to restrain the occupant is Speed X Weight = Restraining Force.
    • If you, as the mother, weigh just 125lbs (55kg) and are in a 10mph (16 kph) crash (which is not very fast at all) it would require 1940lbs (880kg) of force to restrain you.
    • That force is applied to you by the seat belt since the seat belt is what is holding you in place.
    • If there is a child between you and the seat belt then all of that force will be exerted on the child by your body. Not a good outcome for the child.
  • For an infant, use an infant carrier car seat that goes into a stroller (you are likely using anyway) and install the carrier in the taxi rear facing without the base. Never wear your infant with the seatbelt around both of you!
  • Better options for toddler aged children — aside from using a conventional car seat appropriate for your child’s age and weight which we recommend as the safest option but understand may not be a practical option when traveling by taxi. Here are some suggestions starting with the least safe option:
    • Putting the child in their own seat belt in the taxi next to you. At least they will have something but the lap part of the seat belt may cause abdominal injuries if is is a severe enough crash for them to slide under and out the bottom of the seat belt. Make sure to keep the shoulder belt in front of them, crossing their body as best you can make it fit. Sometimes sliding them all the way over toward were the buckle is helps with this.
    • The safest alternative to using a conventional seat would be using the RideSafer with the tether. We almost always recommend the RideSafer with a tether when we are talking about children at the low end of the age/size range especially of they are not even to reaching the lower limits set by the manufacturer. The reason for this is that you have the protection of the 3 points provided by the seat belt and two additional points of contact and restraint, one at each shoulder which also offer additional upper body restraint and support to keep the child in proper position. We understand that if you will be traveling exclusively by taxi it may not be practical to use the tethering option provide with the RideSafer but we do like parents to have the option.
Does the RideSafer meet requirements both here in the USA and in Europe?

Technically the RideSafer Delight has not been certified for use in Europe. We used to have an EU version that came with a booster seat but the manufacturer made came out with the new model, RideSafer Delight, and has not yet certified it. We have been told the manufacturer will be certifying the Delight, likely in combination with the Delighter Booster as Europe standards require a child be elevated. We do not know the timeframe for this.

Restraints certified in the U.S. are usually not certified in other countries and visa versa as there are slightly different standards every where. Typically when traveling parents are allowed to bring their usual child restraint. In our combined 25+ years as car seat technicians, we have not heard of anyone being ticketed for using a car seat from a different country while they were traveling.

Using the Vest in Other Countries

Can I use the vest in Canada?

Transport Canada does not address vests in their Safety Standards. Since the vest is to be used without a booster seat, it requires a prescription for legal use in Canada, specifically for children with special needs. It is our understanding that the child’s physician may issue the prescription. (Information provided by  Transport Canada and seen on their website under the “Special Needs” heading of the Safety Standards.)

The “laws of physics” don’t change at the border. There are many families who currently own the vest in Canada. Some but not all owners in Canada have gone the prescription route and some have just purchased it. We do not need the prescription, it would be for you to present should the legality ever be questioned during a traffic stop.

With the release of the Delighter Booster, the RideSafer manufacturer, may go through the measures of getting the Delighter and RideSafer certified as a combo in Canada. We will keep this updated if/when that happens.

Can I use the vest in Europe?

Technically the RideSafer Delight has not been certified for use in Europe. We used to have an EU version that came with a booster seat but the manufacturer made came out with the new model, RideSafer Delight, and has not yet certified it. We have been told the manufacturer will be certifying the Delight, likely in combination with the Delighter Booster as Europe standards require a child be elevated. We do not know the timeframe for this.

Can I use the vest in the UK?

Technically the RideSafer Delight has not been certified for use in Europe. We used to have an EU version that came with a booster seat but the manufacturer made came out with the new model, RideSafer Delight, and has not yet certified it. We have been told the manufacturer will be certifying the Delight, likely in combination with the Delighter Booster as Europe standards require a child be elevated. We do not know the timeframe for this.

Can I use the vest in Australia or New Zealand?

Unfortunately, the RideSafer Travel Vest is not currently approved for use in Australia or New Zealand.