Golf Cart Accident Injuries are Increasingly Common.
Golf cart accidents are a significant and increasing problem for people of all ages and skill levels. Even golf pros can be injured in golf cart accidents. In December, veteran LPGA pro Cristie Kerr and her caddie were injured in a golf cart accident forcing Kerr to withdraw from the event.
Children are especially at risk. Injuries to children under sixteen make up about a third of golf-cart–related injuries according to a 2008 study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. There have been multiple serious instances of children being injured or dying in golf cart accidents in North Carolina:
- In 2018, a sixteen–year-old died after he was hit by a car while driving a golf cart in Robeson County.
- In 2019 in Mooresville, a one-year-old died after the golf cart in which he was riding hit a pothole and flipped over.
- In 2020, a thirteen-year-old died in a golf cart accident in Badin after the golf cart flipped over.
Golf cart accidents are not limited to the golf course with increasing use at airports, sporting events, and other venues. According to the 2008 study, 15.2% of golf cart accidents occur on streets or public property and 14.5% occur around a home or farm. The number of golf cart-related injuries rose more than 130% between 1990 to 2006.
What Causes Golf Cart Accidents?
Golf cart-related injuries are most commonly caused by falling from the golf cart. Children are more likely than adults to fall from golf carts and these falls are associated with higher rates of head and neck injuries and hospitalizations.1 Children are also at risk of being thrown from the golf cart.2 For older children, injuries commonly result from overturning the cart.
Typical golf-cart design can also be a contributing factor. Many golf carts have rear-wheel braking only, which can cause the driver to lose control on steep downhill slopes.3 Fishtailing and rollover can also occur. Seatbelts are often not available or not used by riders.
How I Can I Use a Golf Cart Safely?
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind the next time you are using a golf cart:
- Do not let children under six years old ride in the golf cart.
- Do not let children under the age of sixteen or untrained drivers operate the vehicle.
- If possible, use a golf cart with seat belts and all-wheel breaks.
- If you are riding with a child, make sure the child is holding onto the cart’s handgrips and sitting with his or her back touching the seat’s back.
- Drive cautiously. Observe all rules and regulations for the premises where you are driving and keep your speed under 10 mph.
- Be attentive to weather and surface conditions.
- Remember that you are not driving a regular motor vehicle. You should brake slower and earlier when driving a golf cart.
- Avoid driving the cart at night or on streets.
- Ensure that the golf cart is working properly before you start driving.
What Should I Do if I am Injured in a Golf Cart Accident?
Your physical wellbeing is your first priority, so seek medical treatment for your injuries if necessary. Refrain from posting on social media about the accident because sometimes social media posts can negatively impact your personal injury claim. If possible, get the names and contact information of the individuals who were involved and any witnesses to the accident. Request copies of any accident reports generated by the golf course or other venue where the accident occurred. Preserve any photos or videos you have of the golf cart and/or the accident scene and any receipts or other paperwork from the day of the accident. An experienced personal injury law firm can help you track down all this important evidence and determine whether you have a good claim for compensation for your injuries. Because it is easier to obtain evidence sooner rather than later after an accident, and statutes of limitations limit the time in which you have to file a lawsuit, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as is practicable.
If you have experienced a golf cart-related injury and want an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, you can call the law firm of Grimes Yeoman at (704) 321-4878 or contact us online for counsel and advice tailored to your case.