Are Golf Carts Safe for Kids in Jacksonville?
They are fun, easy to use, and significantly more cost-effective than automobiles — golf carts are not just for the golf course.
The State of Florida has the second-highest number of residents over the age of 60, and many older Americans find golf carts a convenient way to get around their retirement communities. Other Floridians may make the small and nimble golf cart their preferred choice for short jaunts to a neighbor’s house or corner store.
A golf cart’s simple operation and small size can make it easy to miss how dangerous these vehicles truly are for drivers and passengers alike. Adults and children both face the prospect of serious injuries in the event of a single-vehicle or multi-vehicle accident.
Features That Make Golf Carts Dangerous Vehicles
Golf carts can generally travel about 12 to 14 miles per hour on a golf course or the street. This may make it seem that golf carts are safe and that any injuries in the event of a wreck would be minor. But other characteristics of golf carts make them especially hazardous:
- Most golf carts do not have safety equipment, such as seat belts or airbags
- Golf cars are considerably lighter than most vehicles, offering little protection in the event of a collision
- A golf cart’s light weight makes it easier for these vehicles to roll over
- Most golf carts do not have headlights, taillights, or turn signals
- There are usually no windshields, windows, doors, or other similar features that can protect the occupant
Placing a golf cart in the hands of an inexperienced driver only amplifies these dangers. Inexperienced drivers can make poor decisions and react improperly in an emergency, raising the risk of a crash.
In Florida, you do not need a driver’s license or any specialized permit to drive a golf cart. Moreover, while you must be 14 years of age or older to drive a golf cart on the street, there is no such age limit if you are driving the cart on private property.
How To Keep Your Children Safe on a Golf Cart
When allowing your children to ride or drive a golf cart, you cannot fully prevent them from suffering harm in an accident. You can, however, reduce the likelihood of a crash and injuries by following these tips:
- Do not let children drive a golf cart without adult supervision and instruction
- Teach children to remain seated while riding in a cart with their arms and legs inside the cart at all times
- Do not drive or allow anyone else to drive a golf cart under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Use common sense and do not travel faster than is prudent for the road or terrain
- Do not drive a cart at night unless you have modified it with lights
- Do not allow newborns, toddlers, or very young children to ride in a golf cart under any circumstance
In addition, equipping your golf cart with seat belts and all-wheel brakes can dramatically improve passenger safety.
Teach Children the Importance of Safety
Golf carts do pose dangers to children: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia determined through a nationwide study that more than 6,500 are injured each year in related incidents.
While no amount of safety equipment or modifications will make them completely risk-free, children who are taught to be cautious and to ride in a golf cart the same way they would ride in any other vehicle can enjoy the convenience and fun that golf carts provide.
Contact the Jacksonville Golf Cart Accident Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Jacksonville
121 W. Forsyth St. #170,
Jacksonville, FL 32202