Golf carts are often seen as fun, low-speed vehicles to zip around neighborhoods and golf courses. However, golf cart accidents can cause serious traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) due to the lack of safety features compared to cars.

What Causes Golf Cart Brain Injuries?

There are several ways golf cart accidents can cause TBIs:

  • Lack of seatbelts – Most golf carts do not have seatbelts, resulting in ejection or the occupants striking interior parts of the cart during a crash. This can cause severe head trauma.
  • Lack of airbags – Cars have airbags to cushion front-seat occupants in a collision. Golf carts lack this safety feature, leaving the head vulnerable in wrecks.
  • Rolling over – Golf carts have a high center of gravity and may tip over if turned sharply. Occupants can hit their head on the ground or parts of the cart.
  • Ejection – Getting thrown from a golf cart in a crash is very likely without restraints. This can lead to head/brain injuries.
  • Speed – While golf carts are slow compared to cars, accidents at 15-25 mph can still inflict TBI, especially in children.

Types of Golf Cart Brain Injuries

Some common TBIs suffered in golf cart accidents include:

  • Concussions – Concussions involve trauma that makes the brain impact the inside of the skull. This can cause significant short-term dysfunction.
  • Contusions – Bruising of brain tissue caused by collisions. Can lead to long-term complications.
  • Diffuse Axonal Injuries – Stretching of axons and nerves in the brain due to sudden deceleration. May result in coma.
  • Hematomas – Bleeding outside of blood vessels often caused by ruptured arteries. Can be life-threatening.
  • Second Impact Syndrome – Receiving a second concussion before recovery from the first. Can result in severe brain swelling.

Children at Highest Risk

While anyone can suffer TBI from a golf cart mishap, children are most vulnerable. Their heads are larger and heavier relative to their bodies, while their neck muscles are not fully developed. This increases their chance of head/brain injuries. Wearing a DOT-approved helmet significantly reduces their risk.

Long-Term Effects of TBI

Survivors of moderate to severe TBI often face lifelong effects including:

  • Memory and cognition problems
  • Difficulty concentrating or processing information
  • Headaches, dizziness and fatigue
  • Mood disorders like depression
  • Personality changes like disinhibition
  • Seizures

The severity of long-term symptoms depends on factors like injury severity, age, and genetics. However, even mild TBI can result in cognitive dysfunction.

Preventing Golf Cart Brain Injuries

Safety steps can help reduce golf cart head trauma:

  • Wearing DOT-approved helmets
  • Installing seatbelts
  • No passengers in front seats
  • Following age/size/weight restrictions
  • Ensuring responsible adult drivers
  • Obeying speed limits
  • Allowing no standing/kneeling on moving carts

While golf carts can offer summer fun, they lack key automotive safety features. Using proper precautions is crucial, especially for vulnerable child passengers, to prevent traumatic brain injuries. Being ejected or jostled in a golf cart crash can easily result in debilitating trauma.

If this has happened to you or a loved one, contact us today. You can visit our offices at the following addresses:

  • 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

Call now for a free consultation on (800) 800-4300.