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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 treatment in the United States each year.
Golf cart accidents can result in serious injury, or even death.
CPSC estimates that around 40 percent of golf cart accidents involve a person falling out of the cart. Additionally, roughly 10 percent of golf cart accidents involve a rollover—and, unsurprisingly, such accidents are twice as likely as non-rollover accidents to lead to injuries that require a hospital stay.
Children represent a large portion of all golf cart ejection accident victims. CPCS statistics indicate that approximately 40 percent of all golf cart accidents involve children, and 50 percent of those accidents 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.
Not all that long ago, golf carts were simply that: carts used for playing golf. Now, though, golf carts have become the new town cruiser, and 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, where players need 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 safety 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 rollover and wouldn’t eliminate the possibility of being ejected during certain situations.
If you own and operate a golf cart, 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 or a loved one have been injured in a golf cart accident, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis Automobile Accident Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.