Whether it is on the golf course, in the retirement community, or on a large college campus, golf carts can pose a serious risk of injury or wrongful death. When golf carts cause injury, individuals and their personal injury lawyer in Chicago can pursue compensation to cover their medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.
Golf Cart Injury Statistics
Researchers from Ohio State University examined golf cart accidents that occurred between 1990 and 2006. In all, just under 148,000 golf cart injuries were recorded in the United States. Falling was the most common injury and was recorded in 38% of these incidents. Of those who were injured, 31% were children under the age of 16. The number of people injured in golf cart accidents is rising at a rapid rate and rose 132% over the period examined at OSU.
Dangers of Golf Carts
Golf carts have large bodies and small wheels which makes them prone to tipping and toppling over. The design can make the vehicle unstable on uneven terrain and when the driver attempts to go over or cruise down even mild grades. Their small size, quick speed, and minimal brake and headlights also mean that pedestrians can easily find themselves caught in the path of a speeding golf cart.
Most golf carts do not have safety restraints which is one reason why they are restricted from use on highways, streets, and other roadways. The lack of safety restraints makes it easy for drivers or riders to fall from the golf cart as it travels. With speeds that can reach up to 35 mph, a fall from a golf cart can result in broken bones, lacerations, or crushing injuries if the individual is caught beneath the vehicle.
Finally, most golf carts are electric and rely on batteries that can overheat and catch fire. When these combust, passengers can suffer severe thermal burns and potentially chemical burns if they come into contact with battery fluid. They may also suffer toxic inhalation of fumes from the ensuing fire.
Common Injuries in Golf Cart Accidents
Those who use golf carts can suffer severe cuts, deep lacerations, and significant bruises. Individuals can suffer bone fractures, internal injuries, and brain injuries. When an individual is crushed by the golf cart, they can suffer spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries that can leave them paralyzed or with significant loss of mobility.