Pictured: Golf cart equipped with retractable seat belts
Golf carts have made their way from the golf course and into many resorts, small towns and local neighborhoods. Golf carts may seem harmless but golf carts are not toys. Golf carts can be very hazardous for children when not operated properly. A study conducted in 2008 found that most golf cart accidents involving children less than 16 years of age involve passengers being thrown from the golf cart due to high speeds and sharp turns. To protect your children when operating golf carts, be sure to follow these safety tips.
- Golf carts should only be driven by licensed drivers or if an adult is present.
- Driver should read all directions and safety rules posted on the golf cart before operating.
- Obey all basic driving etiquette - never drive recklessly, never drive distracted, obey all vehicle traffic laws and rules of the road, stay on cart paths or designated roads and never try to go off-roading.
- Golf carts should be equipped with seat belts for the driver and all passengers. The driver and all occupants should utilize available seat belts every time the cart is in use.
- Only operate the golf cart with correct number of passengers.
- Keep hands and feet inside the golf cart at all times. 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.
- A golf cart should be operated at the same speed as a well-paced walk but no faster than 15 mph.
- Use correct hand signals. 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.
- Avoid sharp turns at high speeds and drive straight up and down slopes to reduce the risk of passenger ejections or rollover. Avoid excessive speed, sudden starts, stops and fast turns.
- When not operating the golf cart, be sure to remove key and store safely. Do not leave keys in golf cart while unattended and make sure the parking brake is set.