A 2006 study using 2004 data found that, in New York City alone, there were 25 taxi/livery crashes every day that caused injury. That study also found that when taxis were involved in a crash, the taxi passengers were nearly 2.5 times more likely to be seriously injured or killed than the passengers in the other vehicle in the crash.
So, best practice in taxis (and, in some states, the law) is to use a CR. Dr. Alisa Baer, pediatrician and cofounder of The Car Seat Lady, posts excellent advice on this subject at www.thecarseatlady.com.
With years of experience in large cities, Dr. Baer advises parents to install car seats in taxis, but leave the door open until you are ready for the taxi to move. “It’s also a good idea to give the driver a portion of the tip up front while you are installing,” she explains. “This can go a long way toward keeping the cabby patient while you are working on the installation. Only shut the door once you are satisfied that your child is buckled up safely.”
Dr. Baer also strongly warns against the tempting and all-too-common taxi practice of buckling two passengers into one seat belt, described as the “child crusher” position. She says, “If you find yourself in a taxi without a car seat or booster, buckle the child into his or her OWN seat belt and NEVER put the shoulder belt behind the back or under the arm.”