Mark Roman | November 13, 2023 | Personal Injury
An estimated 6,500 children are hurt every year in golf cart accidents throughout the United States. And in a state like Florida, where golf carts can be a common sight in residential communities and suburbs and share the streets with cars and trucks, this danger is often amplified.
Because golf carts can lack many of the safety features of automobiles, like seat belts and airbags, you and your children may be at risk for serious injury if another vehicle collides with you.
While you cannot control other drivers’ actions on the road, you can avoid injury by following these tips at all times when using a golf cart.
4 Safety Tips For Children And Golf Carts
It’s important to discuss golf cart safety with your children early and often, so you can develop a safety culture in your household and enjoy these vehicles as intended. Safety-minded drivers and passengers have a lower risk of being among the many people treated in emergency rooms yearly for golf cart-related injuries.
Four easy-to-implement safety steps to protect your children from harm include:
1. Follow The New Licensing Law
Florida law now prohibits teen drivers from operating a golf cart unless they are at least 15 years old and have a learner’s permit, or 16 years old with a driver’s license. This new law reflects the reality that younger teens and those without some driving experience may be more likely to take risks or make poor decisions when operating any vehicle.
Make sure you don’t allow your teen to drive a golf cart until they are legally eligible to do so.
2. Obey The Rules Of The Road
Even when your teen is permitted to drive a golf cart around the neighborhood, they should still follow all the rules of the road. This includes obeying the speed limit, following right-of-way laws, and not operating a golf cart at times or in places where they are not permitted to do so. If your teen will not follow traffic laws, they should not be given access to a golf cart.
3. Keep Hands And Feet Inside The Golf Cart
A golf cart can seem like a fun excursion for a young child, which can encourage them to stand up and play while the golf cart is in motion. Instead, teach your child that riding in a golf cart is akin to riding in a car and that there are rules to follow.
Ensure that your children know to sit still while riding in a golf cart and keep their arms and legs inside the golf cart at all times.
4. Do Not Drink And Drive
Make sure that you or anyone else driving a golf cart is not doing so under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Driving a car while impaired is difficult, and a golf cart handles much more differently than a car or truck. An impaired golf cart driver can roll the golf cart, crash into other objects, or fail to see cars or trucks on the road in time to avoid a collision.
You will be much better able to protect the safety of your children and any other passengers when you drive sober.
Take Golf Cart Safety Seriously — For You And Your Children
It can be tempting to relax standard safety practices while driving a golf cart, but golf carts are still moving vehicles. While they may not be cars, using them irresponsibly can subject you and your child to risk. By following these common-sense safety tips, you and your family can enjoy these vehicles and the unique driving experience and culture they offer.
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