Written on Sep 8, 2014 10:42:00 AM
4 Golf Cart Accident Statistics That May Surprise You
The warm Florida sun, quiet roads and prevalence of gated and close-knit communities in the Spring Hill/Brooksville area have made golf carts a highly popular transportation option for residents. Leisurely, economical and easy to use, these carts can be driven by anyone over age 14 in the state of Florida, and do not require seatbelts be worn during operation; in fact, many (if not most) golf cart models do not come equipped with seat belts at all.
However, it’s this relaxed approach to golf carts and their use that leads to thousands of serious injuries every year and, in some extreme cases, death. When it comes to filing a legal claim to get the compensation you or a loved one need after a golf cart accident, or for the best ways to avoid these accidents altogether, your most valuable asset is likely experienced legal guidance.
1.) 147,696 Injuries From 1990 to 2006
Perhaps the most striking statistic regarding golf cart accidents deals with the sheer number of these accidents that have occurred in recent decades. When you think of golf cart accidents, you probably think they are few and far between; a freak accident occurrence that shouldn’t warrant recognition by reputable legal organizations.
However, the truth is that these accidents are much more common than you are likely to believe. In an analysis of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System in 2007, it was found that over 147,000 injuries occurred in the U.S. in the sixteen years from 1990 to 2006.
2.) Children Account for One Third of All Injury Victims
Even more unsettling than the above statistic is that small children and teenagers account for almost one-third of all golf cart-related injuries and accidents (31.2%, as reported by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine).
This harsh reality is due in part to the legal age at which teens can operate golf carts (age 14 in Florida, and even age 13 in some other states). A common sight in closed communities is teens using golf carts to travel around the area, visit friends and go to parks or recreation centers. While it may seem innocent enough, all it takes is one wrong turn or traffic accident for disaster to strike.
3.) Rollovers Account for 10% of All Accidents
Complete golf cart rollovers account for a substantial one-tenth of all golf cart accidents; these types of accidents often result in the most serious golf cart injuries, and sometimes even death.
This is largely due to the lack of golf cart seat belt regulation in the state of Florida. As golf carts are not fully considered motor vehicles, but rather equipment used for sport, they are exempt from seat belt requirements as determined by the American National Standards Institute. This is the standard for all golf carts that come with stock speeds below 15 mph; any modified carts, capable of speeds up to 25 mph, are instead classified as personal transport vehicles.
All too often, carts are modified beyond their stock capabilities, making them much faster, and much more dangerous, than originally possible. This puts teen drivers (and any drivers, for that matter) at increased risk of injury behind the wheel of a golf cart; all it takes is one reckless maneuver or street crossing to spell tragedy.
In the event of a golf cart accident, it can be incredibly helpful to contact a golf cart accident attorney, who can help represent your case in court and improve your chances of getting the compensation you need to fully recover from an accident.
4.) Modern Estimates Average Around 15,000 Injuries Per Year
In a report by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, it was found that golf cart related injuries occur in around 15,000 cases every year. This is at a greater ratio than determined by the 2007 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System study because these injuries are on the rise, and have been for years as golf cart use for general transportation becomes more and more popular.
This is especially true in the Villages, Spring Hill and Brooksville areas, where golf cart use outside the golf course is not only common, but even encouraged and preferred in some places. This puts drivers at increased risk for golf cart accident injuries, and the frustrations and pain that they bring.
To make things easier after an accident involving a golf cart, victims can benefit greatly from contacting a legal professional with experience in golf cart accident settlements and personal injury. In Spring Hill, those professionals are Lowman Law Firm.