What Are the Risks Associated with Golf Carts?
With more than 1250 golf courses and countless retirement communities one can only imagine how many golf carts
are driven daily in Florida. Not only are they the preferred mode of transportation in golfing and senior communities, they are used at airports, college campuses and even in hospitals. With this many golf carts operating off roads, and often on roads, the number of deaths and injuries from cart accidents has increased dramatically in recent years.
Golf carts operate at speeds below 15 MPH and lack the normal safety features of other motor vehicles, such as seat belts in many cases, as well as directional signals, brake lights, wipers, and mirrors. Despite their intended use as off road vehicles they are still motor vehicles and often share the same back streets as cars. A golf cart operator can be charged with the same motor vehicle violations as the driver of a car including criminal DUI.
Due to the fact that golf carts lack safety features and are often not taken seriously by their operators, many injuries and even deaths have occurred. Occupants have been trapped beneath a roll over, ejected from the cart, struck by a cart or injured in a collision. There are no golf cart accident records kept by the Florida Highway Patrol or local law enforcement agencies but one study by the University of Alabama showed that 15,000 injuries occur each year from golf cart mishaps. Many of these accidents involve children or the elderly. Over a dozen golf cart related deaths occurred in a six year period at the Villages, a retirement community outside Orlando. In addition there were over 20 accidents where seniors were ejected or fell from golf carts causing injury.
There are many factors that may lead to a gold cart accident which include:
- Making sudden sharp turns, ejecting passengers or rolling the cart over them.
- Allowing too many to ride at once
- Driving too fast downhill or suddenly reversing or braking on a downgrade
- Texting, talking on a phone, drinking, eating and all the other distractions common in motor vehicle operation
- Operating on hazardous terrain
- Collisions with other carts or vehicles or stationary objects such as a tree
Persons injured in golf cart accidents may receive serious injuries which include but are not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injuries and skull fractures
- Spinal Injuries which may cause partial or complete paralysis
- Fractured bones
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
Golf carts are considered motor vehicles and should be driven in a safe and responsible manner. Often this is not the case. Drivers in many cases seem to take cart driving lightly, not realizing how one tiny mistake can lead to the serious injury or even the death of their passengers or themselves. A stretch of uneven terrain and a sharp turn and a cart can easily roll over. A golf cart traveling downhill at an unsafe speed, may somersault, crushing its occupants. Drinking alcohol before driving a golf cart is as dangerous as driving a car while drunk. Texting or any other distraction can lead to sudden tragedy.
If you or someone you know was injured due to the carelessness of a golf cart driver, seek the help of an experienced Florida accident attorney. If you were driving a golf cart and were injured due to the negligence of a third party, such as poorly maintained driving paths, improper or missing signage, a collision with another cart or a larger vehicle, seek the help of an attorney right away.
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA we have represented many Floridians who were injured in all form of vehicle accidents including gold carts, recovering large cash awards. Contact Dolman Law today and speak with an experienced accident attorney. There is no cost or obligation for a free evaluation of your case. You pay nothing until we win.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
Personal Injury Lawyer
This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.