According to the National Golf Foundation, approximately 25 million people in the U.S. played golf on a golf course, while another 12 million participated in some type of off-course golf-related activity in 2020 alone. Florida leads the country in having the most golf courses (close to 1000) and approximately 1500 golf-related businesses. There’s no doubt that golf has increased in popularity in recent years and players come from all age ranges -- even as young as 6 years old.
However, in recent years, golf carts have become more of an off-course vehicle for some, particularly in Florida. Many people prefer them over automobiles for various reasons. Given their increase in usage, the number of golf cart accidents has also increased, and many of the crashes have resulted in serious injuries for the cart operators and their occupants.
Golf cart accidents are very similar to automobile accidents, both in terms of causes and injuries. If you've been injured in a golf cart crash, let an experienced Fort Myers golf cart accident lawyer at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. help you recover for your injuries.
Where Do Golf Cart Accidents Happen?
Of course, an accident can happen anywhere a vehicle can travel. Still, our Fort Myers golf cart accident lawyer knows that there are places where too many golf cart operators can congregate at once, increasing the chances of a golf cart accident, such as:
- Golf courses. Of course, most golf courses offer golf carts for rent so that golfers can get around the course. A golf cart provides golfers with a place to store their bags and other items they wish to have with them while on the course.
- Housing Communities. Housing communities, particularly senior living communities, are places where golf carts are regularly used by many residents. Golf carts allow residents to get around the community easily without having to get in their car and drive to another location. In other words, they're less strenuous than walking but simpler and quicker to use than driving.
What Makes Golf Carts Dangerous? Our Fort Myers Golf Cart Accident Lawyer Explains
Think of a golf cart as basically a very small car with none of the safety features and very few road rules. What makes them dangerous is the fact that they typically lack sides, doors, airbags, seatbelts and bumpers, and they are usually made of thin plastic. Also, they are commonly driven at speeds of up to 15 m.p.h. across rough, hilly terrain, and they require no driver's license to operate.
Plus, there is generally no maintenance schedule to ensure that the brakes, steering, etc. are functioning correctly. Simply put, the lack of any true regulation over golf carts can leave drivers and passengers at risk of life-changing injuries or even death.
Common Golf Cart Injuries in Florida
Thousands of golf cart injuries occur every year, with some being quite serious or even fatal. While most golf cart injuries are soft tissue damage (like bruising), bone breaks and fractures are also quite common since there is no side protection in most carts. The lack of protection can also lead to severe brain damage and other head and neck injuries. Typical golf cart injuries include:
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Back injuries
- Face injuries
- Hand and wrist injuries
Common Causes of Golf Cart Injuries
Rollovers are the most common type of golf cart accident. Why? Because golf courses tend to be filled with hills of varying degrees of steepness. Other causes may include:
- Falling out of the golf cart
- Hitting another object, such as a tree or pothole
- Running head-on into another object
- Being thrown out of the golf cart
- Sharp turns
- Overloaded carts
- Distracted driving
- Driving while impaired
- Lack of restraints
- Open siding
What Can Be Done to Help Prevent Golf Cart Accidents in Florida?
When it comes to preventing golf cart accidents, the most important thing is regular maintenance and daily inspection of all of the carts at the golf range. The same is true for personal golf carts -- they, too, must be inspected and maintained. Check all tires for proper inflation levels and signs of wear. Check brake functionality and be sure that the forward and reverse gears operate properly. Our Fort Myers golf cart accident lawyer also advises cart owners and operators to check all lights and be sure that the horn and reverse alarm sound properly. Also, keep safety equipment and first-aid kits on or near your carts to minimize injuries in case of an accident.
To safely operate a golf cart, follow these few tips:
- Use only authorized, trained, and licensed drivers.
- Keep speeds below 15 m.p.h.
- Never interfere with normal pedestrian or vehicle traffic.
- Yield to pedestrians and larger vehicles.
- Charge battery-powered carts in well-ventilated areas.
- Refuel gas-powered carts in areas free of ignition sources and smoking.
- Operate within the designated premises, not on public roadways (except when crossing).
- Designate parking areas for carts and don't park in any other areas.
- Mark the weight capacity if the cart is designed with a bed for hauling and do not overload carts.
Contact a Fort Myers Golf Cart Accident Lawyer For Help With Your Golf Cart Accident
Golf carts are typically associated with enjoying a sunny day at the course with some friends, and they are rarely thought of as dangerous. Still, thousands of golf cart accidents occur every day, some with minor to severe injuries.
If you have been involved in a golf cart accident, contact Attorney Randall Spivey at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. online or by phone at 888-477-4839 after receiving immediate medical attention for your injuries. We will deal with the insurance company and handle any legal claims you may have so that you can focus on your recovery.