Last week, an Orlando woman tragically lost her life in a golf cart accident when she fell out of the cart and was dragged for several feet. Sadly, these types of accidents are all too common in Florida, where it is not uncommon to see both golfers and members of retirement communities traveling by golf cart. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has estimated that as many as 18,000 people suffered golf cart-related injuries across the country in 2015 alone.
Florida courts have long recognized the dangers posed by golf carts. For this reason, golf carts are considered dangerous instrumentalities, which means that their owners can be held partially liable for any injuries sustained by passengers. This is true even if the owner was not personally negligent in causing the accident. For example, if a golf course allows a customer to use a cart and that driver later hurts someone else, the course can be held partially responsible for resulting injuries. However, if there is evidence that a driver’s negligence caused him or her to strike another individual, then the driver can also be held liable for damages.
Types of Accidents
While golf carts can be involved in a variety of different types of accidents, the most common include:
- Single cart crashes;
- Collisions with other vehicles;
- Rollovers; and
- Striking a pedestrian.
Like car accidents, golf cart crashes are often caused by distracted driving or driving while intoxicated. However, golf carts also pose unique dangers to users that are linked to their design. For example, overcrowding can easily cause a golf cart to roll over if a turn is taken too sharply. Golf carts are also notoriously difficult to control on uneven or wet pavement.
Although golf carts are usually designed to only travel about 20 miles per hour, they can still cause serious injuries when involved in an accident, including severe lacerations, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries.
To help prevent these types of accidents, golf cart drivers should consider taking the following precautionary measures:
- Braking slowly, especially when going downhill;
- Avoiding sharp turns;
- Using seat belts when available;
- Keeping arms, legs, and feet inside the cart at all times;
- Paying close attention to driving when the terrain is uneven or during inclement weather; and
- Ensuring that child passengers are monitored by parents.
Contact a Golf Cart Accident Lawyer Today
Please contact Oldham & Smith at (352) 292-1620 to speak with an experienced attorney about your own golf cart accident today.