Small towns all across America have seen an influx in golf carts on the roadways. With a top speed of 15 miles per hour, you don’t typically think of them being involved in serious accidents with injuries. However, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), there are approximately 15,000 golf cart related injuries requiring emergency room treatments in the U.S. each year.
“Based on CPSC statistics, roughly 40% of golf cart accidents involve a person falling out of the cart, and many of these accidents involve young children. In addition to ejection accidents, approximately 10% of golf cart accidents involve a rollover and statistics indicate that such accidents are roughly twice as likely to lead to injuries requiring a hospital stay as non-rollover accidents.”
Not all that long ago golf carts were simply that: carts used for playing golf. Golf carts have become the new town cruiser. Many states don’t have laws or restrictions governing their use. Golf carts weren’t designed with seatbelts because they were intended to be used on the golf course, designed for players to easily enter and exit the cart several times during the course of a golf outing. When people took the carts off of the course and onto the roadways, the need for safety restraints became evident.
Golf cart standards require accessible handholds and restraints that prevent the passengers from sliding to the outside of the vehicle. Most golf carts have semicircle bars that rise up from each side of the bench seat and are designed to serve as handholds and restraints from sliding out of the cart. These bars don’t provide enough restraint during a roll-over and wouldn’t eliminate the possibility of being ejected during certain situations.
Children represent a large portion of all ejection accident victims. Consumer Products Safety Commission statistics indicate that approximately 40% of all golf cart accidents involve children and 50% of these involve a fall from a moving cart. The easiest way to reduce this number is to require seatbelts for golf carts that are used on the roadways.
Seemingly harmless behavior could result in an accident. The Consumer Products Safety Commission statistics tell us that golf cart accidents can result in serious injuries—including death. If you own and operate a golf cart, we urge you use caution on the roadways and be responsible when behind the wheel. When the cart is stopped, make sure the brake is in the locked position. If kids are operating the cart, make sure they’re aware of the dangers.
If you have been injured in a golf cart accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer for guidance. Compensation may be available to the injured party.