Golf carts are harder to drive than they look. The reality is that they pose similar safety risks as any other motor vehicle, especially when operated off the golf course. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 10,000 emergency room visits each year result from golf car accidents.
Whether you are renting a cart for an afternoon game or you?ve purchased a pre-owned golf cart for personal use, you will want to pay close attention to the following safety tips.
- Buckle up. Like in a car, the best way to protect yourself from injury is to wear your seat belt. Sure, you?re not going 40 miles per hour in a pre-owned golf cart, but there are still plenty of ways to get yourself hurt. Roughly 40% of golf cart accidents involve a driver or passenger falling out of the vehicle; 10% involve a rollover.
- Go slow through the turns. Accelerating around a corner is the easiest way to tip the cart or fall out onto the ground. Believe it or not, turning at just 11 miles per hour is enough to throw a person out of a moving golf cart. Remember, new and used golf carts don?t have doors to hold you in. To make sure everyone is safe, approach turns with extreme caution.
- Don?t drive on the sidewalk. Just because your golf cart fits on the sidewalk and moves at walker?s pace doesn?t mean you should actually travel on the sidewalk. Some communities have specially designated recreational trails for golf carts; here, bikers and joggers expect you and are prepared to move out of the way.
In areas where it is legal to drive a golf cart on the road, remember that you are subject to the same traffic laws as regular motor vehicles. This means that all the same rules apply to you. Because of the cart?s small size, be extra careful when driving among regular vehicles. You may not have turning signals, so be sure to use hand signals and take full advantage of your horn.
Do you have any additional safety tips for driving a golf cart? Feel free to post in the comments section.