Golf Cart Safety
Golf carts are not only useful on the golf course, but they have also become a very useful and necessary form of transportation for many different types of work purposes and other recreation. Unfortunately, golf car accidents can cause a lot of damage and injuries. We, at OTR Wheel Engineering, decided to put together this safety guideline to ensure that golf cart operators are aware of hazards that exist when operating a golf cart, and also understand the necessary precautions to take before and while driving to prevent unnecessary damage and injury. Whether you’re out enjoying the greens or on the clock, we want to make sure that you stay safe!
Golf Cart Accident Statistics
We know that it might seem like driving a golf cart is simple, so how hard can it be to stay safe? Golf carts are motor vehicles and, just like driving other off road vehicles or even driving a car, there are risks.
Esurance says, “Over 10,000 emergency room visits each year result from golf cart accidents, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)” and, “About 40 percent of golf cart accidents involve someone falling out of the vehicle; and roughly 10 percent involve a rollover, per CPSC data.” Also, that even “Turning at just 11 mph is fast enough to easily throw passengers out of a cart.” So it is very important to think about safety while operating golf carts!
Here are “The Fundamentals (16 ways to be safe)” from golfcartsafety.com;
- Never drive recklessly or joy ride. Drive courteously. Obey all vehicle traffic laws and rules of the road.
- Never drive intoxicated or under the influence of any drug or narcotic.
- Avoid distractions while operating the golf cart just as you would in an automobile. Be safe and attentive — avoid talking, texting, or reading while driving, reaching for objects, applying makeup or eating.
- Golf carts should be equipped with seat belts for driver and all passengers. The driver and all occupants should utilize available seatbelts anytime the vehicle is in use.
- Only carry the number of passengers for which there are seats.
- Drivers and all passengers should keep all body parts (arms, legs, feet) inside cart while vehicle is in motion, except when signaling a turn.
- Do not allow anyone to ride standing in the vehicle or on the back platform of the vehicle. Do not put vehicle in motion until all passengers are safely seated inside vehicle.
- Operate the vehicle from the driver’s side only.
- Always use hand signals to indicate your intent to turn due to the small size and limited visibility of the turn signals on a golf cart.
- Check blind spots before turning. When making a left hand turn, yield to the thru traffic lane and merge into that lane before turning left. Never make a left hand turn from the golf cart lane.
- Carefully turn and look behind golf cart before backing up.
- Avoid sharp turns at maximum speed, and drive straight up and down slopes to reduce the risk of passenger ejections and/or rollover.
- Avoid excessive speed, sudden starts, stops and fast turns.
- Reduce speed due to driving conditions, especially hills or other inclines or declines, blind corners, intersections, pedestrians and inclement weather.
- Do not leave keys in golf cart while unattended and make sure the parking brake is set.
- Always yield to pedestrians and be cognizant of motor vehicles.
- Use extreme caution in inclement weather. Although a golf cart may shield you from the rain, it may not protect you from a lightning strike.
Maintaining a Golf Cart
Knowing basic safety procedures and “fundamentals” is only a portion of golf cart safety. Another important aspect to consider is golf cart maintenance. Keeping your golf cart well taken care of and regularly maintained, will help keep you safe. Proper golf cart maintenance can go a long way toward helping you avoid serious golf cart accidents or injuries.
Here’s a guideline to proper golf cart maintenance from golfcartsafety.com;
- Check tires for proper inflation or punctures, screws, nails, etc.
- Have brakes and steering serviced immediately if they are not working properly.
- Make sure headlights and brake lights are operational, especially before using a golf cart after dusk or in inclement weather.
- Look for battery or other fluid leaks indicated by wet spots under the golf cart.
- Recharge the golf cart in a safe, dry, charging station, with a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Never recharge near an open flame or ignition source. Never smoke in your recharge area.
- Recharge batteries only with a charger that is designed to shut off automatically when the batteries are fully charged.
- Remember to unplug all battery charger cords before using the golf cart.
- Do not allow towels or golf cart accessories to hang down over turn signals or brake lights.