If you live in or have visited a large retirement community lately, you’ve likely seen that golf carts and low-speed vehicles (LSV) are a popular mode of transportation throughout the property – and possibly beyond. They’re often used at large resorts to get to remote lodgings as well as at campgrounds and hiking trails.
You’re not as likely to suffer the kind of injuries in a crash involving a golf cart as you might in a car crash. However, you can still be seriously injured.
Drinking and golf cart driving don’t mix
Part of the problem is that people tend to be more relaxed and less attentive when driving a golf cart. Too often, if they’re drinking while playing a few rounds of golf, they may be in no condition to be operating any kind of vehicle.
Actor/comedian and well-known golf enthusiast Bill Murray was once stopped by police in Stockholm, Sweden, for driving a golf cart under the influence of alcohol. At the time, he was driving it from a restaurant to his hotel.
Other common safety issues
Even if you are vigilant about driving safely when you’re in a golf cart, not everyone is. Some of the most common safety issues involve people who don’t:
- Carry the designated number of passengers (or fewer).
- Make sure everyone has their hands and feet inside the cart and that they’re seated (and belted if there are seat belts).
- Make sure the direction selector is positioned properly before they accelerate.
- Look behind them before they reverse.
- Put on the parking brake and take the keys out when they park.
- Yield to pedestrians.
- Slow down at turns.
Of course, just as you shouldn’t drink and drive, you also shouldn’t use your phone to text or talk while driving a golf cart.
Remember that golf carts and even larger LSVs aren’t meant to go everywhere. It’s best to avoid rough terrain, steep hills and driving in rainy weather. It’s also good to know where you’re going. If you stop or change direction suddenly, it’s easy to lose control of the cart.
If you’re injured by someone driving a golf cart, whether you were a pedestrian or driving another cart, you have a right to seek compensation to cover your expenses. It’s wise to find out your options.