When you read a blog post with the title “How Dangerous are Golf Carts?”, you’d be forgiven for thinking, “Surely not that dangerous”. After all, they’re designed to take people and gear across a golf course. However, according to federal law, golf carts can be modified to become street-legal, which means they’re just as at risk of being involved in a road collision as any other vehicle; the only difference is the fact that the drivers and passengers are more exposed.
A Difference Between Safe and Street-Legal
Golf carts must meet a set of safety standards before it’s deemed street-legal, and any golf carts purchased for pleasure must be registered with the state. In many states, golf carts follow similar regulations to regular-sized vehicles, which means they need the following:
- Registration and license plate
- Turn signals
- Rearview mirror
Once everything mentioned above is in place, a golf cart can legally drive on any road where the speed limit is less than 35 mph. Considering the max speed of a golf cart is around 25 mph, this is for the safety of everyone on the road. Despite this measure, accidents and injuries are still common, especially when regular cars are involved. Because cars fall into the same regulatory category, many people believe golf carts are just as safe, but this simply isn’t true.
Common Types of Golf Cart Accident Injuries
Even after modifications, golf carts aren’t designed to offer the same level of protection as a car, which means passengers don’t have much protection between themselves and the full force of another vehicle. There aren’t any doors, there’s no airbag, and some of them don’t even have seatbelts. Following a golf cart accident, these are the most common injuries we see:
- Internal bleeding: Blunt force trauma can cause blood vessels to rupture.
- Broken bones: Passengers of golf carts can be launched from the vehicle, which means broken bones are likely. Even when wearing a seatbelt, sheer force is likely to cause whiplash.
- Spinal injuries: Damage to the delicate spinal cord can lead to permanent paralysis and other complications.
- Traumatic brain injuries: Without a metal wrap as protection, golf cart passengers are more likely to hit their heads in a crash and suffer lasting brain damage.
- Organ damage: The blunt force of colliding with another vehicle can lead to organ damage.
How to Avoid Golf Cart Accidents
There is not much awareness surrounding golf cart safety right now, and that’s part of the problem. Even though accidents can happen with the necessary precautions in place, it’s still essential to do the following when riding in a golf cart:
- Keep to a stable and secure speed.
- Never drink and ride.
- Never over-fill a golf cart.
- Steer clear of busy roads.
- Maintain safe distances between your vehicle and others.
- Only travel short distances.
- Follow the same highway code as other vehicles.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a golf cart accident, visit one of the following Denmon Pearlman Law offices:
- Tampa – 2504 W Crest Ave, Tampa, FL 33614
- Petersburg – 520 2nd Ave South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
- New Port Richey – 5703 Main Street, New Port Richey, FL 34652
- Brooksville – 1790 E Jefferson St., Brooksville, FL 34601
- Seminole – 5290 Seminole Blvd. Suite D, St. Petersburg, FL 33708
Or call now for a free consultation on (800) 800-4300.