Golf carts are an ever-present part of living in a state like Florida, and you can see many on roads and streets at any given time. The weather in Florida and living communities make golf carts ideal from getting one place to the next and give riders an open-aired experience that isn’t typically available in a traditional motor vehicle. While these vehicles are certainly fun and exciting to ride and operate, they can be dangerous, especially due to the fact that many golf carts do not have safety features like seatbelts and airbags.
Riding Golf Carts In Florida
There are several living communities throughout Florida, and many residents of these communities enjoy riding golf carts to and from nearby locations. Some people even use golf carts as their primary or secondary form of transportation. In most communities and on roadways, there are designated areas where golf carts are permitted to be operated. However, where there are no designated golf cart areas, golf cart drivers often find themselves amidst pedestrians and automobiles. Unfortunately, when golf carts are mixed in with automobiles and pedestrians, serious injuries can happen.
The perils of golf carts in Florida have been made clear by the many incidents noted in The Villages, which is a retirement community located just outside of Orlando. Over the last six years, there have been at least 12 golf cart-related deaths as well as a number of additional accidents in which pedestrians and gold cart riders were injured.
Because golf carts are mostly unregulated by Florida law and the rules of the road, many golf cart users do not have strict laws to follow when operating their vehicles. This also makes it more difficult to quantify the accidents, injuries, and wrongful deaths in which golf carts were involved.
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Common Places Where Golf Cart Accidents Happen
There are several areas where golf cart accidents are most prevalent. These areas include:
- Housing communities: Housing communities like The Villages are common places where golf carts are regularly used by residents. Golf carts allow residents to get around the community easily without having to get in their car and drive to another location.
- Small towns: Smaller towns, such as Safety Harbor, Florida, are other locations where golf carts are frequently seen and used.
- Golf courses: Most golfers use golf carts to get around a golf course. A golf cart provides golfers with a place to keep their equipment and other items they wish to have with them while on the course.
- Roads: Golf carts are sometimes also seen on the road. This can be especially dangerous, as there are often other vehicles on the road alongside golf carts. Because traditional cars travel much faster than golf carts, a collision with a motor vehicle can be especially dangerous for those riding a golf cart.
Incidents In Which The Driver Of The Golf Cart Gets Injured
There are several instances in which the driver of the golf cart can become injured while operating the vehicle. Common examples of causes of a golf cart driver incurring an injury include:
- Falling out of the golf cart
- The golf cart rollovers
- Hitting another object, such as a tree or pothole
- Running head-on into another object and being thrown out of the golf cart
All of these instances can be very dangerous, especially if the driver was not wearing a seatbelt or was driving at a higher speed. To avoid accidents, drivers should practice good driving techniques whenever possible. These practices include braking slowly, constantly being ready to use the handgrip if necessary, avoiding driving around sharp turns, not driving in harsh weather, and driving at a speed of 15 miles per hour or less.
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Injuries That A Golf Cart Accident Can Result In
There are a number of severe injuries that accident victims can incur as a result of a golf cart accident. The exact nature of the injuries will depend on how fast the golf cart was going at the time of the collision, whether the golf cart came into contact with another vehicle or object, and how the passenger(s) was sitting at the time of the crash. Examples of golf cart injuries include:
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries or trauma
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Face injuries
- Hand and wrist injuries
Causes Of Golf Cart Accidents
There are several reasons why a golf cart accident may occur. Common causes of golf cart accidents include:
- Reckless golf cart driving
- Taking sharp turns at a high speed
- Overloaded golf carts
- Distracted golf cart driving
- Driving a golf cart while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving a golf cart on muddy, wet, or uneven ground
- Reversing downhill
- Hanging legs or arms outside of the golf cart
- Leaving the golf cart’s brake unlocked when exiting
- Having too many passengers in the golf cart while it’s being operating
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Contact Florin|Roebig If You’ve Been Injured In A Golf Cart Accident
If you’ve been injured in a golf cart accident, you’ll likely need to go through your golf cart insurance company to receive compensation for damages, medical bills, and other losses due to the accident. Working with insurance over an accident case can be overwhelming, especially after being in a traumatic incident such as a golf cart crash. At the law offices of Florin|Roebig, our personal injury lawyers have helped countless individuals get the compensation they need and deserve following a motor vehicle accident, and we’d be happy to do the same for you. Give us a call today for a 100% confidential and free consultation of your personal injury claim at (800) 226-6581.