Alarming Golf Cart Accident Realities in Florida
Florida has more golf courses than any other state, which inevitably means thousands of golf cart accidents and related injuries each year. These carts are also used in some industrial settings, gated communities, hospitals, college campuses, etc. According to one study done on related injuries in the United States, children make up over 30 percent of golf cart-related injuries, most frequently as a result of falling from the golf cart, at sports facilities, leading to injuries to soft tissue damage – and they are on the rise every year.
Not only do golf carts offer very little protection to drivers and passengers, but they are also especially prone to being involved in rollover accidents. This was an issue recently, for example, when one woman was killed after the cart she was riding overturned into a canal, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Many of these accidents end in death, in addition to brain and spinal injuries, fractures, respiratory problems, and many other issues. Anywhere where it is legal to drive golf carts, safety precautions are absolutely necessary.
The Law in Florida
In Florida, it is illegal to operate a golf cart on any public roads or streets with a few exceptions, such as:
- Any county road, municipal street, etc. which has been designated by a county or municipality after that particular government entity first determines that golf carts may safely travel across that street or road; or
- On a part of the State Highway System, under certain conditions, such as the existence of an intersection with a county road or municipal street that has been designated for use by golf carts by the Department of Transportation, if/when the department has first reviewed and approved of the location and design of the crossing and any traffic control devices needed for safety.
Once the department determines that golf carts may be operated on a road, the department first needs to post the appropriate signs before that road can be used by golf carts. All carts must also be equipped with brakes, rearview mirrors, warning devices in the front and back, and several other safety-related devices.
Under some circumstances, golf carts may also be operated on sidewalks adjacent to specific county roads, municipal streets, or state highways if the local government entity first certifies that pedestrians and others may also safely share the sidewalk and the carts are restricted to a maximum speed limit of 15 miles per hour.
Golf Cart Accident Lawyers Serving Fort Lauderdale and Surrounding Areas
Friedland & Associates has represented hundreds of people who have been seriously injured in golf cart accidents. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a golf cart accident, we are happy to discuss your case your options, in depth. Contact us today online for a free consultation.