Many people see golf carts as harmless. Perhaps it's because of the Cute Factor. Most carts have quiet engines, tiny tires and usually operate at very low speeds. But they're definitely not toys.
The Bureau Of Labor Statistics reported that between 1992 and 2001, there were 739 non-fatal golf cart accidents that resulted in lost work days. In roughly that same period, their figures showed an average of five golf cart related fatalities per year.
What can be done to prevent these accidents? First, consider who's allowed behind the wheel. Of course we recommend that all golf cart drivers be required to show a valid driver's license. But it's not always easy to say "No" to tournament VIP's or important club members. Also, consider enforcing the following rules:
- Do not allow anyone who appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol to operate any vehicle.
- Only allow carts to be operated from the driver's side. You'd be surprised how often this rule gets broken.
- All passengers (as well as the driver) should remain seated, and keep their hands and feet inside the cart while it's moving. Read this article from SandTrap.com
- Avoid allowing carts to be operated with more than the number of passengers for which the cart model is designed. Oddly enough, it may be the work crews who most often violate this rule.
- Make sure the cart is completely stopped, and that the parking brake is set before exiting.
- Avoid driving over wet, muddy or excessively steep areas. If an incline must be driven over, approach it vertically (straight on) to avoid tipping the cart onto its side.
- Use slower speeds when driving on or near crowds, corners, speed bumps and inclines.
- Most golf carts don't have mirrors. Therefore always use extra lookout precautions when backing up. Never try to back down any incline.