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Golf carts are a useful tool for many individuals. Whether it be used to maneuver around a golf course, retirement park, neighborhood, or down the block to a friend’s house, golf carts are versatile and very useful. In addition to being used for short distances, these small vehicles are also useful for traveling across farms or to the post office. It is still possible to suffer serious injuries while riding a golf cart, even though most of them do not exceed twenty miles per hour. Golf carts may be convenient and versatile, but they can also be dangerous.
The dangers associated with golf carts are often overlooked by many people. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), golf cart accidents cause approximately 18,000 injuries annually. As golf carts become more popular as modes of transportation, this number will likely continue to increase. Unfortunately, most golf cart accidents result in hospitalization, serious injuries, or even death. Drivers and passengers of golf carts have little protection against accidents, especially if they involve a larger or faster vehicle. Due to a lack of seatbelts and protection such as siding and airbags in most Pennsylvania golf cart accidents, drivers and passengers can be ejected from their golf carts in the event that an accident occurs.
Injuries sustained in these accidents can have a significant impact on a person’s life and even lead to wrongful death. In the event of an accident involving a golf cart caused by the negligence of another party, victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages. It is always possible for accidents to occur when a vehicle, even a golf cart, is operating on a public road. Victims should contact a nearby Pennsylvania golf cart accident lawyer at The Pearce Law Firm, Personal Injury And Accident Lawyers P.C. if they or a loved one have been injured in a golf cart accident as a result of someone else’s negligence or as a result of a defective golf cart. Feel free to contact us at 215-488-7287 for a free no obligation consultation.
Common Causes Of Pennsylvania Golf Cart Accidents Near You
Despite their apparent safety, golf carts can pose a serious danger. It is often the case that although they are designed for low speeds on grassy surfaces, their limits are often exceeded, or the golf cart is modified to obtain higher speeds. Rollovers and serious collisions may occur when golf carts are operated at high speeds. The weight of a golf cart may not be as heavy as that of a full-sized automobile, however, it is still possible for the cart to trap victims when they roll over. Golf cart accidents are commonly caused by factors including:
Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs, Alcohol, Or Both
In Pennsylvania, Senate Bill 785 makes it legal for golf carts to travel on normal roadways for a distance of up to one mile, however, this does not include the highway. A person who operates a golf cart under the influence of alcohol or drugs is likely to be pulled over and charged with a DUI because these vehicles are legal on public roads. DUI charges on golf carts will have the same consequences as DUI charges on other motorized vehicles. Common legal penalties for golf cart DUIs in Pennsylvania include:
- Up to 6 months probation
- Misdemeanor charge on record
- Up to a $300 fine
- Required attendance at alcohol highway safety school
- If ordered, alcohol or drug treatment
Even though a golf cart may be much smaller than a car, operating a golf cart under the influence of alcohol can still result in collisions or accidents that can seriously injure or kill drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. For this reason, the penalties for a DUI while operating a golf cart are similar to the penalties for a DUI while operating a normal motor vehicle.
Driving While Distracted
Every year, golf carts are involved in hundreds, if not thousands, of devastating accidents because of distracted drivers. Golf cart accidents may occur when drivers are distracted by something inside or outside the cart including:
- Other passengers
It’s important to realize that distracted driving is not only performed by golf cart drivers and that golf cart accidents can also be caused by motor vehicle drivers being distracted while driving as well.
In spite of the fact that golf carts are considerably smaller than cars and travel at a slower speed, driving distracted is extremely dangerous. Due to the limited safety features of golf carts, including the absence of seatbelts and airbags, golf cart accidents caused by distracted driving can be even more dangerous.
Overloaded Golf Carts
A golf cart can carry a weight capacity ranging from 450 to 800 pounds depending on the size and power of the cart. Generally, a golf cart that accommodates two to three passengers is safe, but if the load exceeds that, the cart is at risk of tipping over, which could lead to an accident. Golf cart accidents come with the potential for serious injuries or even death. The 2019 accident in which an overloaded golf cart carrying seven people overturned and resulted in serious injuries is a clear illustration of this.
During a sharp turn and subsequent collision, an overloaded golf cart may throw passengers from the vehicle as it is hard to brake and accelerate. Additionally, when a golf cart is overloaded, it is very easy for the driver to become distracted by all the commotion occurring. Thus adding an additional hazard to the situation which increases the risk of serious injuries.
Common Golf Cart Accident Injuries
The belief that golf carts do not cause serious injuries is widely held by some drivers. The reason they believe this is that golf carts are not as powerful as cars and can’t travel as fast as them. However, there are a number of factors that contribute to every golf cart accident in Pennsylvania. A golf cart accident can cause a number of injuries, some of which are more common than others.
The design of golf carts is open air with very little protection provided by their roofs. There is a high probability of injuries occurring when accidents occur. The most common golf cart accident injuries include:
- Road Rash
- Knee Injuries
- Lacerations, Gashes, Cuts
- Back and Spinal Injuries
- Fractures and Broken Bones
- Concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury
- Shoulder and Neck Injuries
It is important that victims seek medical treatment and contact an experienced Pennsylvania golf cart accident lawyer near you as soon as possible following a golf cart accident, regardless of the type of injury or damage they have sustained.
Contact A Pennsylvania Golf Cart Accident Lawyer Near You
If you or someone you know has been injured in a golf cart accident in the Pennsylvania area and is in need of a golf cart accident lawyer near you please contact us for a free consultation. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our No Fee Guarantee. Contact a no win no fee lawyer today.
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