Golf Carts: Unexpected Dangers & Liabilities

Aug. 3rd, 2015   /   , , , ,

We all know that golf carts are common on modern-day golf courses. And, as you might imagine, they are particularly ever-present in South Florida, home to many senior living villages and retirement communities, where residents use golf carts to get around the neighborhood as well as on the golf course. Our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green know that while these vehicles can be useful – and even fun to drive – they are still hazardous and present golf cart owners and riders with serious concerns, both in terms of danger and liability.

First of all, it is imperative to remember that golf carts are certainly not toys; they are still vehicles that can reach speeds of up to 15-20 mph and can go much faster if tampered with. These vehicles are so powerful that Florida law, in Florida State Statute 316.212, regulates the vehicles by (in part) requiring that they be equipped with “efficient brakes, reliable steering apparatus, safe tires, a rear view mirror, and red reflectorized warning devices in both the front and rear,” indicating the safety issues inherent to the vehicles.

As our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers know, the safety issues are serious. According to a report published by the U.S. government, between 1990 and 2006, nearly 450,000 individuals (ranging in age from 2 months to 96 years) reported to U.S. emergency departments with golf cart-related related injuries. Disproportionately affected were children under the age of 16, who comprised 31.2% of the injuries, highlighting the real safety risk for children.

The risks golf carts pose to children is again emphasized in s. 316.212, which states, “a golf cart may not be operated on public roads or streets by any person under the age of 14.” This law recognizes that golf carts are not toys and must be operated by mature individuals and that children are especially vulnerable to golf cart injuries. One of the possible reasons that young children face more golf cart injuries than do adults could be that rollovers account for roughly 10% of golf cart injuries – young children are less able to withstand a rollover accident without injury than are non-elderly adults. So, while it might seem like a nice gesture to allow your grandchild to drive your golf cart up and down the block, you could be risking their safety.

In fact, you could also be risking your financial well being, too. The fact is, as our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers know, if you own a golf cart, and someone is injured on or by your golf cart, whether or not the accident took place on your property, you could be held liable for damages (which is why many people sign-up for golf cart insurance in addition to regular auto insurance).

If you have any questions about this or any other personal injury issue, or if you have been injured in a golf cart accident or any other type of accident due to the recklessness or negligence of another, please contact our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green by calling 561-266-9191 or by emailing daronberg@aronberglaw.com. We look forward to assisting you!

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