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Golf Cart Accidents on the Rise in Georgia

If you think you cannot be injured while driving or riding on a golf cart, think again. According to The New York Times, golf cart accidents and injuries are on the rise. In recent years, golf carts have become more powerful and faster with an ability to reach speeds of 25 miles per hour. Since golf carts are moving off golf courses and onto local roadways and are being used more frequently at airports, sporting events, colleges, and retirement communities, there has been a surge of golf cart related injuries since 1990. In fact, many of those golf cart injuries and accidents occur in the state of Georgia, and result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities.

Golf CartIn 2011, under Georgia Senate Bill 240, golf carts were assigned a new separate class of motor vehicles. This "reassignment" allows golf carts with some safety features capable of driving up to 20 miles per hour on the roads as long as local jurisdictions permit. The new law went into effect January 2012, and there is now an increased potential for golf carts to come in contact with larger vehicles on local Georgia roadways. About 15 percent of golf cart accidents occur on streets, and golf cart street accidents cause injuries that are more likely to result in concussions, disfigurement, hospitalization, and even wrongful death.

Injuries from golf cart accidents can be shockingly severe: a golf cart injury lawsuit for $5 million in damages was settled in Vermont recently. Back in 2006, a middle-aged gentleman was injured when he was thrown from a golf cart at a raceway and sustained a traumatic brain injury, and as of today, he still has difficulty completing basic daily activities. In Tennessee, one teen was killed and three other teens were hospitalized when the right rear tire of their golf cart blew out while going down a hill; the golf cart went into a spin, smashed into a brick mailbox and rolled. In Alabama, a teenage male was a passenger in a golf cart, and when the driver took a sharp turn, the golf cart flipped over. When interviewed post-accident, the teen said, "It was really good that I had my seat belt on because if I hadn't, I probably would have broken a few limbs or maybe even worse."

How to Stay Safe While Operating and Riding in Golf Carts

Below are some tips on how to stay safe while operating and riding in a golf carts. The number one rule is common sense--if you wouldn't drive your vehicle the way you are attempting to drive the golf cart, don't do it.

  • Check the golf cart's tires, horn, brakes, battery, and lights before use.
  • Make sure everyone is wearing a seatbelt (if the cart has them) and remains seated while moving. Do not exceed the passenger limits of the cart.
  • When backing up, check the area behind the golf cart for vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Slow down in wet conditions, on steep inclines, when turning corners, at intersections, and for speed bumps, and uneven pavement. Stay off curbs and pedestrian walkways.
  • Do not driver faster than the pace of a brisk walk.
  • To avoid tipping, do not drive a golf cart at an angle down a hill.
  • When parking, ensure the brake is set, shift the gear to neutral, and remove the key.
  • Most importantly, don't drive while distracted or while intoxicated. This includes eating, texting and driving, and talking on a cell phone.

If you or a family member has been injured in an Atlanta or North Georgia golf cart accident, contact the North Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys at Casey W. Stevens Law: Alpharetta Personal Injury and Car Accident Lawyers. Call 770-408-6364 for a free case evaluation. Representing clients in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Cumming, Suwanee, Woodstock and all of North Georgia.

Additional Resources

WSMV.com: Children injured in accident involving golf cart

Safetyxchange.org: How to keep them on safe course

Client Reviews
After being involved and a five car accident I contacted Casey Stevens law firm. I was given his number by a fellow coworker at my job who had used him in the past and was very satisfied with his services. The car accident included myself my husband and my son, the accident was determined to be the fault of two drivers involved in the accident. Casey personally came to my home the next day and said down with me and my family at the kitchen table and went over all the events of the accident. There were months and months of physical therapy, doctor visits injections and while my son had to have his mouth wired after having his jaw broke in three places. Casey and his staff worked continuously on our case and after it was all said and done, they where able to get us over $300,000 in damages. I really want to Thank Casey Stevens and his staff for always being available for phone calls and answering any questions I might have. I will continue to recommend potential clients to Casey Stevens law firm. Nina F
Outstanding Attorney. Casey Stevens is outstanding!! Everyone there put me at ease and made me feel that my case was important to them, I was not just another number to them. Their professional staff were always on hand to answer any questions that I had and they sincerely cared about my well being. If I ever need legal help again, you will be my first and only call Susan