Keeping Our Kids and Ourselves Safe in Golf Carts
Golf enthusiasts may be aware of the evolution of golf carts and how they have become an integral part of sports. At one point, golf carts were only used and driven on golf courses, and now, golf carts are being used in and outside the golf course. From the golf course, they have become heavily used in neighborhoods, sporting events, airports, parks, community centers and even on college campuses. Due to their excessive use, golf cart injuries have become a topic of major concern.
Children are directly affected by these growing number of injuries. The reason is very simple: These golf carts attract children’s attention and parents can sometimes consider them safe due to their slow speed and allow the children to drive them. This is where the actual problem lies with injuries. Thanks to the rise in the number of injuries across the US, it has become a local and federal debate on how the government should be intervening with the problem. Before the government considers taking certain measures and limit golf cart usage, it is important to take precautionary steps to avoid injuries.
Common Reasons for Injuries
There are multiple reasons for the injuries being caused by golf carts. Some common reasons are:
- Lack of Seatbelts – One of the major reasons for accidents in golf carts is its own design. There are no standard set of seat belts in golf carts. This is a major part as to why they are not as safe to drive as other vehicles. Adults manage to balance themselves when they are taking a turn, but children cannot do it that effectively. This is a contributing reason for why children fall off the cart.
- Hard to See – Golf carts do not typically have headlights or brake lights as a standard. A lack of visual queues to make your presence known to other drivers on the road increases the chance of accidents. At the very least, have reflectors on your golf cart.
- Modification – Golf cars usually have a very slow speed and that is why they can be considered safe. However, with the passage of time, several modifications have been made. In the design and alterations, many golf cart owners have been known to increase the overall speed of their vehicle. Golf Carts were not primarily designed to go over 19.9 MPH. Most manufactured golf carts leave the manufacturer only going 14 MPH. When speeds are increased, stability, balance, and control are ultimately affected. Not to mention, brakes in golf carts were not designed for these higher speeds either.
Golf Carts, by their very nature, were not initially created to be driven on the street. They were manufactured to be used on the golf course. Their speed, safety features, and other performance factors were not considered when being sold to a residential user – Keep this in mind as you shop. Cheap can look appealing, but what is the safety of you and your children worth?
These are a multitude of reasons why accidents are caused by golf carts. In order to ensure that you drive safely and keep your children safe as well, it is important to make sure that you adhere to and follow a few safety standards:
- You can make sure there are seat belts, headlights and brake lights at the very least.
- If you are looking to purchase a golf cart, then to ensure the highest standard of safety, look into purchasing a Low Speed Vehicle. An LSV looks like a golf cart, but by law, it is required to meet certain safety standards as set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In conclusion, safety in golf carts is crucial and often overlooked. Since the vehicle does not go very fast, it’s often looked at as a “toy”, but that doesn’t mean it cannot cause harm. Always take proper precautions and maybe have a look at adding a few safety features to your cart – especially if you have kids. As stated above, if you’re looking to purchase a cart for neighborhood use, consider purchasing a Low-Speed Vehicle instead of a golf cart.