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The warmer weather is upon us, meaning people, if they haven’t already, will be dusting off their golf carts and hitting the links.  Depending on where you live and where you are driving, golf carts may be able to lawfully driven on city streets, so expect to see more this time of year.

While most people consider golf carts to be relatively safe, it’s important to remember that they are still vehicles and that accidents do happen. You can have a lot of fun on a golf cart, but you can also end up seriously injured or injuring someone else if you don’t behave responsibly. We’ve compiled a list of the top golf cart safety tips in order to help keep you and others on the road safe.

  1. Be Responsible

Anyone in your golf cart should keep their arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. If you’ve ever been to an amusement park, you’ve probably heard the announcement, “Please keep your arms and legs inside the train (car, vehicle, etc.) until it comes to a complete stop.” The same is true of golf carts. If the cart is moving, all of your limbs should be inside.

  1. Limit Passengers

Golf carts are made for a certain number of passengers. There should never be more people in your cart than there are seats for. This means that if you have a cart built for two, you only have one passenger while you are driving.

  1. Obey Traffic Laws

When you are driving your golf cart on a city street, you are considered to be operating a vehicle. The golf cart is subject to the same traffic laws as a typical passenger car. Obey the laws at all times. This means no reckless driving, no tailgating and definitely no speeding.

  1. Don’t Get Distracted

Distracted driving is an all too frequent cause of motor vehicle accidents. It can be easy to check your phone or send a text while operating your golf cart, believing that you couldn’t possibly hurt anyone because you are traveling at such low speeds. The truth is that you are still in a powerful machine. You need to keep your focus on the road ahead of you.

  1. Use Platforms Properly

If you have a golf cart equipped with platforms in the back, sides or front, remember that these aren’t for extra passengers. These platforms are for transporting things like golf bags and shopping packages. Don’t drive your cart with anyone standing or sitting on these platforms.

  1. Avoid Drinking and Driving

It’s not unusual for people to consume a few adult beverages while playing golf or spending a relaxing afternoon tooling around town. If you stop off to have a drink, don’t operate your cart. Not only can you be arrested for drunk driving, you could cause an injury accident that you will be forced to live with for the rest of your life.

  1. Take It Easy on Turns

Left hand turns are more hazardous than people believe. You stand at risk of cutting someone off if you don’t check your blind spots. No matter which way you are turning, make sure you are using hand signals, especially if your vehicle isn’t equipped with turning lights. Take a look over both shoulders before you turn and always yield to oncoming traffic.

  1. Reduce Speeds

Pay attention to the conditions of the road. Driving at top speed may be safe on a smooth stretch of roadway, but can be inappropriate on gravel or a road with multiple curves and sharp bends. Drive at speeds that are right for the conditions, not only of the road you are on but for the weather as well.

  1. Starts and Stops

Don’t start, speed up or stop suddenly. Driving in a jerky motion is hazardous for your passengers. If you are driving on a neighborhood street, it is also dangerous for the people sharing the road with you. Remember, you are driving a vehicle. Assuming that you operate your car safely, you should be operating your golf cart in the same manner.

  1. Keep Your Keys

If you leave your golf cart, make sure to take your keys with you. You should also have set the parking brake before you exit the cart and walk away. You don’t want a child or an unlicensed driving to see the keys and think it would be fun to take your cart for a joy ride. You also don’t want to risk your cart rolling backwards and striking a vehicle, pedestrian or other object

  1. Watch Out For Inclement Weather

Keep an eye on the weather before you decide to head out in your cart. Golf carts are vulnerable to lightning strikes, so care should be taken not to operate them in thunderstorms. If you run into dangerous weather that you didn’t know was coming, do your best to pull over and get to safety.

  1. Yield to Pedestrians

When you are operating your golf cart, always yield to pedestrians. That means even if someone is walking slowly in front of you on a trail or on a cart path on the course, yield to them. Pedestrians have the right of way in almost every, if not all, situations. If you strike a pedestrian with your golf cart, you could be criminally ot civilly liable, so watch out for people.

Golf carts are a great way to get around the course and they are a fantastic option for people who live in golf cart friendly neighborhoods and towns. If you have a golf cart and plan on bringing it out soon, keep these safety tips in mind.

If you do happen to be involved in a golf cart accident in Charlotte or elsewhere that was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries and more. Reach out to our office to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights and options. Our experienced team is here for you and we will work tirelessly to represent you zealously so you can get the compensation that you are entitled to under the law.

Do you think you know everything there is to know about riding motorcycles? Even if you are a seasoned rider, there may still be things you are not aware of regarding motorcycle safety. There is no shortage of myth and misconception surrounding bikes, their riders and their safe operation.

Here are 10 of those myths and misconceptions, many of which you may have believed in at one point or another.

  1. Loud Pipes Make You Safe

Many people believe that a louder exhaust pipe on a bike leads to more safety for the rider. When you think about it, it makes sense. If you can make your motorcycle as loud as possible, other drivers on the road are more likely to notice you.

Research has shown that this actually isn’t the case. In fact, bikes with modified exhaust systems are involved in more crashes. If you want to be noticed, wear a bright helmet and light-colored clothing.

  1. Helmets Do More Harm Than Good

Some people don’t wear a helmet because they believe head protection does more harm than good. People believe that the added weight on their head makes it more likely for them to break their neck in an accident.

This isn’t true. People who wear helmets sustain fewer head and neck injuries than those who don’t. This is because a helmet is made to absorb the force of an accident.

  1. Helmets Hinder Vision

This one may have some basis in truth. A helmet that doesn’t fit properly could potentially make it more difficult for you to see, if it slips and slides. On the other hand, a properly-fitting helmet will not hinder your vision or your hearing.

  1. Helmets Fail at High Speeds

The simple fact is that a rider is more likely to survive a crash if they are wearing a helmet, no matter the speed.

  1. Skill Makes You Safer

Some riders believe that if they have enough skill, they can handle anything. Of course, the more experienced you are, the safer you are, but it doesn’t mean you are invincible.

Do not believe the lie your experience will keep you out of harm’s way. An enhanced sense of skill may have you operating your bike more recklessly than you would otherwise.

  1. Younger Riders are Reckless

Out of all motorcycle deaths, nearly half occur in the over-40 age bracket. In the last decade, fatalities among riders over 50 years old have risen by 400 percent. Researchers attribute this fact to inexperience and more powerful motorcycles on the market.

Just because someone is young doesn’t mean they are more dangerous. Someone’s age doesn’t relate to their probability of getting into an accident.

  1. Side Streets are Safer

Some riders stick to side streets, believing that they are safer than highways. In some instances, this could be true, but in most, it isn’t.

Think about your nearest highway. All drivers are traveling in the same direction and there are no added dangers of cyclists, pedestrians, stop signs and other objects on the side of the road. If you look at the statistics, motorcyclists are much safer on the highway than they are on a neighborhood street.

  1. One Drink Is Okay

You may not feel intoxicated after one drink and think you are okay to hop on your bike and ride wherever you like. This isn’t the case. Even one drink can slow down your reaction time.

The faster you react to a situation, the better off you are — perhaps even more so on a motorcycle than in a car or truck. If you are out on your motorcycle, you should not consume any alcohol under any circumstances.

  1. Other Drivers Don’t Care

This is simply untrue. If you ride your motorcycle, try not to get a chip on your shoulder about drivers in cars and trucks. They do care about you; it’s just that many may not understand how to treat a motorcycle rider safely.

It’s often easy to tell the drivers who are riders themselves or who have riders in their family. They will stop further behind you, give you wider berth and look over both shoulders before turning lanes. Be sure to give a wave of thanks to these people. They may be the ones to educate others.

  1. Non-Motorcycle Drivers Don’t Want to Share the Road

Yes, there are some bad and selfish drivers out there that act like they own the road.  However, no one wants to be in an accident. As more and more people use motorcycles for transportation, the general driving public is becoming more accustomed to driving with more and more bikes on the road.  Just continue to be a safe driver that is focused on the road!

Speak with a North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

The aftermath of a motorcycle collision can be very serious. You may suffer head trauma, broken bones or even spinal injuries. If you are one of the lucky ones, you’ll walk away with a bit of road rash and live to tell the tale. If you are involved in a catastrophic accident, you could lose your life. Knowing the facts about motorcycles, their riders and how to safely use them can help you avoid some of the most common collisions.

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Charlotte, you have legal rights. Call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation. If another driver is responsible for causing your accident, we will help you hold them accountable. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more. Reach out to our team today to schedule your consultation and get the help you need.

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