In Hollywood and across Southern Florida, golf carts are becoming an increasingly common form of transportation, even off the greens. In many neighborhoods, gated communities, and retirement communities, residents are using these vehicles to get around and the number of golf carts in the region is rising.
At the same time as the number of golf carts is rising in places such as Hollywood, Homestead, Hialeah, Coral Gables, and other communities in Florida, the golf carts themselves are changing. Newer versions on the market have more features and may be able to go faster, sometimes over 25 miles per hour. Known as “super golfcarts,’ these golf carts, in particular, have been linked to a number of injuries.
All of this has resulted in more golf cart crashes in recent years. According to the CPSC (the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission), over 17,000 golf-cart-related accidents take place across the country each year that are serious enough to warrant ER visits. Some result in fatalities. There are many more minor accidents as well.
Whether you drive a golf cart yourself or are a driver in Southern Florida, there are several steps you will want to take to help prevent car accident and pedestrian accidents in Hollywood and Florida which may be caused by golf carts:
- Always ride or drive sober: A number of golf cart accidents in Florida have involved alcohol, which can severely hamper your ability to safely operate any motor vehicle—including a golf cart. If you’re not in physical condition to drive, you’re in no condition to operate a golf cart.
- Do not modify your golf cart: Florida’s 5th District Court of Appeal recently oversaw a case involving a “souped up” golf cart. When the vehicle was in an accident, the insurance company refused to pay for injuries and damages. Modifying your golf cart in ways it was not intended to be changed can invalidate your warranty, make the cart more dangerous, and can result in insurance woes if you are ever in an accident.
- Do not take your golf cart “off road”: Golf carts are prone to tipping over when they encounter uneven ground, which can put you and your passengers at risk of head injuries, fractures, and other serious injuries.
- Do not take your golf cart on roads with speeds higher than what your golf cart can go: Sharing the road with cars is dangerous because cars may not see your smaller vehicle and because you may not be able to get up to speed to stay safe on the road. If you are riding a golf cart, stick with residential streets in communities which allow golf carts.
- Slow down: Speeding greatly increases your risk of rollover accidents. If you are in a collision, speeding can mean you suffer more serious injuries.
If you have been injured in a golf cart accident, do you have a claim? If the operator of the cart or the driver involved was negligent, you may. You may also have a claim if the manufacturer of the cart designed an unsafe product. To find out whether you can seek compensation, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Hollywood car accident attorney.