On the Fourth of July, after watching fireworks on Main Street in Acworth, a 24-year-old man began to drive home in his six-person golf cart. That’s when the driver of a car slammed into the back, ejecting the man and flipping the cart.
The driver fled the scene, leaving the injured young man on the ground. Fortunately, others who had witnessed the crash ran over to help.
Golf carts have grown in popularity as a mode of transportation for recreational events, as well as in small cities and local neighborhoods. As more and more people use golf carts, emergency departments have seen an increase in injuries.
Golf Car Accident Statistics
After a 10-year nationwide study, a team from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that a total of 63,501 children and adolescents were injured in golf cart accidents, with a steady increase of more than 6,500 per year.
- 8% of injuries involved children ages 0-12
- Superficial injuries are the most common — fractures and dislocations were the second most common type of injury
- Most injuries involved the head and neck
- School and sporting events were the most frequent location for injuries
While most golf cart injuries aren’t serious, impacts with larger vehicles going at high speeds will almost always involve serious injuries that in rare instances can turn fatal.
Here are some more statistics you may not have heard of regarding golf cart accidents:
- About 15,000 golf cart-related injuries occur each year in the U.S. Approximately half of these accidents result in injuries.
- 10% of golf cart crashes are rollovers.
- More than 156,000 people visited the ER from 2007 to 2017 after a golf car accident.
- Due to a lack of seat belts and head protection, head injuries are common, with children three times more likely to suffer a concussion or traumatic brain injury.
- Golf carts can only hold 450 to 800 pounds – exceeding this limit can cause them to flip over during sharp turns.
- The average age for a person injured in a golf cart crash is 38 years old.
Georgia Golf Cart Laws
A person must own and carry with them a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit in order to operate a golf cart alone. However, a driver can be as young as 12 if they are accompanied by a licensed adult of 18 years or older.
Golf carts can drive on the sidewalks and crosswalks as long as the driver yields the right-of-way to all pedestrians, bicycle riders and others not using a cart. These vehicles can be taken on the street if the posted speed limit is 35 mph or less.
All golf carts must have braking systems, a reverse warning device, tail lamps, a horn, hip restraints, weigh less than 1,300 lbs, and not exceed speeds of 20 mph.
Regulations for golf cart use vary from state to state and even between local municipalities. Check your local laws before purchasing and operating a golf cart in your area.
When to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
Although unusual, cars and trucks sometimes crash into golf carts, causing devastating injuries. These incidents can be even more distressing when small children are involved.
When a person is injured in a golf cart accident due to another driver’s negligence, they should contact a personal injury attorney. Whatever the cause of the accident, an injury lawyer can inform you of your rights and help you protect your claim.
Accidents involving golf carts will continue to increase as more and more people and families use them to get around. Protect your family and your health by calling Gary Martin Hays & Associates at 770-934-8000.
We take your pain and suffering seriously and are dedicated to helping all manner of injured victims across Georgia.