Golf carts are a popular mode of transportation in gated communities, sporting events, hospitals, airports, college campuses, and military bases. With the use of golf carts on the increase comes the increase of golf cart accidents. When misused, a golf cart can become just as dangerous as a loaded gun.
A golf cart is a small vehicle designed to carry golfers and their golfing gear throughout their game. Golf carts come in many different variations and all have the purpose of carrying small numbers of passengers across short distances while driving under 15 miles per hour. In Alabama, California, Iowa, Kansas, Rhode Island, and Vermont, the minimum age to drive a golf cart is thirteen. Florida’s minimum age is fourteen, and fifteen is the age in all other states.
A number of golf cart deaths and injuries prove that golf carts are not the safest modes of transportation. Injuries and death due to golf carts are more of an occurrence than one would assume. A crawling 11 miles per hour can eject a passenger during a sharp turn. Injuries range from minimal bruising to death. Other injuries can include fractures, lacerations, concussions, spinal injuries, respiratory complications, and paraplegic and quadriplegic injuries. Golf cart accidents can happen to anyone at any age; one-third of golf cart accidents involve children.
Top Ten Causes of Golf Cart Accidents
Hanging leg outside of the golf cart.
Driving over wet, muddy, or uneven terrain.
Driving cart under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Leaving the brake unlocked upon exiting.
Passengers overcrowding the cart or standing.
Racing or other horseplay.
Inattentive vehicular drivers.
Driving while distracted (eating, reaching for objects, texting, etc.)
Top Five Causes of Death in a Golf Cart Accident
Damaged wind pipes and asphyxiation
Top Ten Ways to Be Safe in a Golf Cart
Do not hang limbs outside of the cart, like a leg or an arm, and make sure you and your passengers remain seated at all times when the cart is in motion.
Never operate a golf cart or any vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Follow the rules of the road like you would in a car, including yielding to pedestrians.
Lock the brake before exiting the cart.
Limit the passenger capacity to the designations of the cart.
Drive defensively. Always be aware of surroundings and prepare yourself for anything that may happen.
Take caution while driving over steep or rugged terrain.
Slow down when approaching hills, corners, bumps, or public roads.
Never try to reverse downhill.
Approach steep or uneven terrain vertically to avoid tipping over and sliding off the cart.
Keeping all of this in mind can really make a difference between a vacation in paradise and tragedy. Next time you’re in a golf cart, remember to be safe and take the necessary precautions. If you’re driving, remember not to take sharp turns or drive in terrain unsuitable for golf carts. If you are a passenger, do not stand up or take part in any horseplay.
As long as you are in a golf cart, it is your responsibility to remind those around you of the necessary precautions. If you are driving in a vehicle, keep in mind that golf carts can be found anywhere. Be on the lookout and help keep the roads safe for vehicles and golf carts alike.
If you or a loved one have been wrongfully injured or killed in a golf cart accident, contact Lowman Law.