Golf Cart Accidents and Related ER Visits Up Sharply in U.S.
According to a recent Inside Edition report, golf cart accidents are up sharply over the past two years and such accidents are increasingly resulting in serious injuries for those involved. In the last two years, golf cart accidents led to an estimated 35,000 trips to the emergency room, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Surprisingly, in over forty percent of those crashes and accidents the injured person was a minor or child under 16 years of age. Golf cart accidents are a particular concern in Florida, which has the most golf courses in the country and also has large communities where retirees rely on golf carts as their primary source of transportation. Combine this with the general lack of safety equipment available on most golf carts, and you have a problem that is only going to grow in the Sunshine State as golf carts sharing the road with cars becomes more common.
Golf Cart Accidents: A Particular Problem in Florida
Golf cart accidents are a phenomenon that are a huge problem in Florida given the sheer number of golf carts in operation. Florida has the most golf courses in the nation with over 1000 golf courses statewide, so golf carts are all over the place in Florida, both on the roads as well on paths designed specifically for golf carts. However, golf carts are not just found in and around Florida’s many golf courses. Many in Florida’s large retiree population have turned to golf carts as a convenient and safer means to get around many communities which are built specially to cater to those who may no longer drive cars. Although this can be a wonderful way for those who are no longer comfortable driving a car to get around, it can also lead to accidents if, for instance, golf carts are sharing the road with regular passenger vehicles. Most golf carts lack even rudimentary safety features such as seatbelts or doors, which makes them as vulnerable as a pedestrian or a bicyclist in an accident involving a motor vehicle, a point made by the Inside Edition report.
The Villages: An Example of Why Florida Has Such a Problem with Golf Cart Accidents
One community in particular serves as a great example of the abundance of golf carts in Florida and the risks that can accompany that high number of golf carts. The Villages, a large planned development for seniors over age 55 located in central Florida, has a population of nearly 120,000 spread out over an area of 40 square miles. However, a March 2017 New York Times article estimated that there are more than 65,000 golf carts in the community, with many households owning two or more golf carts. Some reports have placed the figure of Villages residents who use a golf cart as their primary mode of transportation at upwards of 80 percent. According to one 2016 survey, The Villages was the top “Golf Cart City” in the United States in 2016. According to the fire chief for The Villages Public Safety Department, the area had 94 rescue and emergency medical service incidents involving golf carts, 70 of which involved injuries, in 2016. Although the Public Safety Department does not keep statistics regarding the number of fatalities, our blog has previously featured reports of collisions in The Villages involving golf carts in which a passenger or the golf cart’s driver was killed in an accident.
Contact Schwed Adams & McGinley if You Have Been Injured in a Golf Cart Accident
Golf carts are all over the place in Florida and, although they are a wonderfully convenient form of transportation, they can also be dangerous if they are driven near passenger vehicles. At Schwed Adams & McGinley, our experienced personal injury attorneys have decades of legal experience representing those injured in a wide variety of scenarios, including those injured in golf cart accidents. Although golf carts can be a convenient means of transportation for those who may otherwise not be able to drive or who live in areas like The Villages, accidents involving golf carts can and do occur with regularity. If you have been the victim of an accident involving a golf cart in Florida, you may be entitled to substantial damages if you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. Therefore if you have been injured in a golf cart accident, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today at firstname.lastname@example.org or (877) 694-6079 today.