Golf Cart Accidents Statistics

December 19, 2011 by staff 

Golf Cart Accidents Statistics, Golf cart travel is becoming an increasingly popular means of transportation, particularly for short trips in subdivisions, in retirement communities and among those who are not yet of legal driving age. While carts are commonly viewed as little more than toys, a recent study, performed by the University of Alabama and published in the Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, reveals a much different take on golf carts.

The research, triggered by doctors at the University of Alabama at Birmingham after treating several serious golf cart related accidents, studied emergency room databases from 2002 to 2005. Results suggest that during that time span, about 48,000 golf cart accidents took place nationwide, injuring roughly 1,000 Americans a month. Research also revealed that an estimated 50% of the accidents happened on the golf course, while the other half generally occurred at homes, on streets and other public property. Young males between the ages of 10 and 19, as well as men 80 and up, were found to have the highest injury rates in these accidents. For those accidents on the golf course, it is speculated that alcohol often plays a primary factor in the cause of collisions.

Some credit the lack of a requirement for safety equipment, such as windshields, signaling lights and mirrors, as the cause of many of these accidents, especially when traveling on public streets. Although they can be modified to exceed regular speeds, most golf carts are only designed with top speeds of 15 mph, solely with golf course travel in mind. Complaints have been made that the very little federal regulation and minimal requirements by states has also fed into the climbing injury rates. Most states do not have an age requirement to drive a golf cart, nor do they mandate the necessity of a license or safety equipment in order to operate a cart.

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