Golf Carts Are Leaving the Fairways and Introducing More Injuries
Newcomers to the greater Myrtle Beach area may be surprised to see that they are sharing the road with golf carts. Tourists and local residents alike are taking their golf carts off the fairway and using them to get around locally for convenience and ease of driving.
Unfortunately, with the growing numbers of carts off the links, serious personal injuries related to their use are also becoming more common. Our accident attorneys in Horry and Georgetown Counties and the surrounding areas encourage golf cart drivers to practice safe driving and follow the laws.
South Carolina state law allows golf carts and other low-speed vehicles on state roads that have a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less. A low-speed vehicle may cross a highway at an intersection where the highway has a posted speed limit of more than 35 miles an hour.
All golf cart drivers must be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver’s license. Parents are increasingly disregarding these laws and allowing young children to drive the carts through neighborhoods and neglecting to educate them on the dangers as passengers.
Adding to golf cart dangers is the fact that the vehicles do not come equipped with safety features present in other vehicles, like seat belts and airbags. Seatbelts should be installed if children will be riding along, and adults should encourage children to wear helmets as well.
An article published in early July in the US News and World Report’s Health Day reported results from a Georgia study where 68 people had suffered injuries as a result of golf-cart accidents from 2000 to 2009. Sadly, over 60 percent of those injured were only nine years old on average.
In June of this year, a woman riding in a golf cart with her feet propped up on the dash fell out and suffered a fatal head injury when the driver turned the wheel suddenly. No charges were filed in her death.
Bad driving habits lead to injuries and death regardless of the size and speed of the vehicles. Adult drivers should recognize that golf carts are a vehicle just like a car or truck, and drinking and driving do not mix. In the GA study, alcohol was detected in about 59 percent of injured people over age 16.
To minimize the dangers to yourself and others, follow driving safety guidelines and these basic rules while driving a golf cart on the roads:
- Mind your speed;
- Stay on designated roads;
- Follow state and local laws;
- Be aware of pedestrians and give them the right of way;
- Allow only as many passengers as there are seats; and,
- Keep hands, feet, and all body parts inside the cart at all times.
Also, as a golf-cart passenger or a pedestrian, do not be the victim of a negligent golf cart operator, and stay alert at all times.
Our SC injury attorneys want residents and tourists to stay safe on our roadways and encourage safe driving in all vehicles. If you are injured by a negligent driver, contact us about your legal rights while you heal from your injuries.
Contact Our SC Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Serving the counties of Georgetown, Horry, and Marion, South Carolina, Maguire Law Firm attorneys help seek justice for the victims of vehicle accidents and other personal injury accidents caused by unsafe drivers. We will help you recover fair compensation for your medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other payments which you are due.
Call (843) 361-7549 or use our toll free number at (800) 525-9900. You can also contact us online for a free initial consultation. We serve residents of Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Conway and Horry County.