Written on Jul 1, 2011 3:30:00 PM
Golf Cart Accident Statistics vs. Car Accident Injury Statistics
Topics: golf cart accident
Golf Cart Accident injuries are on the rise nationally, and we are hearing of more and more right here in Florida. Car accident injuries are obviously much more common, just given the number of cars on the road, but with the increased use of golf carts in venues outside the confines of the golf course, the number of golf cart accident injuries has grown over 130% in the past 15 years. Nationally, there were only about 5,000 golf cart accident injuries a year in the 90s, today we're seeing upwards of 13,000 golf cart accident injuries every year.
Golf Cart Accident Injuries vs. Car Accident Injuries
So, while there are more car accident injuries than there are golf cart accident injuries - why are golf cart accident injuries climbing so much more quickly?
Here are 5 reasons.
Golf Cart Accident Injuries vs. Car Accident Injuries: Increased Golf Cart Usage
One reason why golf cart accident injuries are becoming so much more common, is the fact that people and communities are starting to use them for so many more things. One example a community in Florida with increased golf cart usage is The Villages. For more information, read our post on Golf Cart Accidents In The Villages. 15 years ago, the majority of golf cart use was on an actual golf course. Today, we see golf carts everywhere - on the streets, in recreation facilities, in sporting arenas, at campuses, at airports and even shopping plazas. About two-thirds of golf cart accidents happen at sport and recreational facilities, while the other third happens right on the street and at private properties.
Golf Cart Accident Injuries vs. Car Accident Injuries: Regulation
Another prominent reason golf cart accidents are increasing so rapidly is the lack of government regulation. There aren't the same types of federal laws controlling who is permitted to operate a golf cart. In most places, you don't even need a driver's license to drive a golf cart, and there aren't any laws restricting age. Children and the elderly who wouldn't be able to legally obtain a driver's license (or operate a car) are frequently behind the wheel of golf carts all over Florida and the United States. In fact, about one-third of all golf cart accidents involve children.
Golf Cart Accident Injuries vs. Car Accident Injuries: Safety
The design of a golf cart and its lack of safety mechanisms - like seat belts! - is another cause of increasing golf cart accident injuries. The cabs are open air, there are no doors, and the rear-facing seats on the back of the golf cart do nothing to prevent people from being ejected during sharp turns or small bumps. Golf Carts, because of their height and lightness, are also prone to tipping and rolling over, which is responsible for a great deal of the more serious head and neck injuries we see.
Golf Cart Accident Injuries vs. Car Accident Injuries: Golf Cart Power & Speed
The increase of power behind a golf cart, their increased speed and the further distances they can now travel are also a cause of increased golf cart accidents. Many golf carts are now capable of going upwards of 25 miles per hour and can go as far as 40 miles on a fully charged battery. Because of this, people are starting to use them for actual transportation rather than just getting around a golf course or recreation facility. People taking their golf carts 10 and 15 miles away isn't uncommon, and we're seeing golf carts on more of our public roadways. To learn more about golf cart safety, read our post on How To Prevent Golf Cart Accidents.
Golf Cart Accident Injuries vs. Car Accident Injuries: Alcohol & Sporting Events
This goes with any unregulated practice, but thousands of people operate golf carts while consuming alcohol every single day. On the golf course, it's not uncommon to see beer cans and bottles neatly nestled in the cup holders that are conveniently mounted near the steering wheel of a golf cart. People don't associate golf carts with motor vehicle laws, and as such, don't take the same precautions.