Golf carts aren’t just for the links any longer. Drive through any major city in North Carolina or any tourist town, and you just may find yourself sharing the road with these four-wheeled vehicles. Better yet, you may choose to drive one yourself. The ease of getting around town makes them quite attractive.
Unfortunately, golf carts are not required to pass the same safety standards as traditional motorized vehicles. This can put you and your passengers at very real risk of injury. A lack of regulations has caused these vehicles to be built with little adherence to safety standards. For example:
Tip Overs are Common
Due to their small tires and light weight, golf carts easily tip over when driven carelessly. Even when you drive with purpose, rough, uneven terrain can jostle the vehicles just enough so that they end up on their sides.
Lack of Seatbelts
Very few manufacturers put restraints in their golf carts because, quite simply, they are not required to do so. This leads to one of the main causes of injury and death: falling out of the vehicle.
Golf carts are meant to be entered and exited quickly. Because of this, they have open sides that allow for easy access to the interior of the vehicle. These open sides make it easier for passengers to fall out.
Lack of Maintenance
If you are going to rent a golf cart, ask about maintenance checks. Some facilities have maintenance plans in place and others do not. When maintenance isn’t performed, brakes can fail, seats wear out, and steering can become sticky.
Injuries caused by golf carts or their operation are more common than you may think. The most common injuries are:
Lacerations and Bruises
Cuts and bruises to the lower body are common. Soft tissue injuries occur for a variety of reasons.
Fractures typically occur as a result of a person being thrown from or falling out of a golf cart.
Concussion and hemorrhages are the most common neck and head injuries. Again, these are often caused when riders fall out of the cart.
People die in golf cart accidents every year. These deaths result from collisions or ejection.
If you choose to drive or ride in a golf cart, it is important that you respect the vehicle. Safety is up to you. Know how to drive the cart and know how to ride correctly. You do not have the luxury of relying on safety features built into the cart.
If you have been injured in a golf cart accident, call our offices now. Our personal injury attorneys are here to help you today.