Golf carts have moved beyond the golf course. They can be found on the streets, around homes, and on farms. Sometimes they’re driven by children and it’s easy to see why young people love these vehicles. Also, since there are no registration requirements for them in many states, parents assume it’s okay to let their children drive them. They believe they are safer than other vehicles like ATVS since they don’t go very fast. However, a 2017 study found that golf carts can be dangerous and even deadly when children drive them.
Researchers looked at 100 children treated in Pennsylvania for golf cart-related injuries between 2004 and 2014. Seventy-five percent suffered broken bones, more than 40 percent ended up with a fractured skull and some had to treated in the intensive care unit. Furthermore, more than a quarter of the children suffered a concussion and 25 to 30 percent sustained brain injury and brain bleeding.
Why Golf Carts Can Be Dangerous for Kids
Although golf carts don’t typically go faster than 20 miles per hour, they can weigh up to half a ton. That means they can still cause a lot of damage. Also, golf carts have open sides and they don’t often have seat belts so it’s quite easy for kids to fall out. Since children aren’t required to wear helmets in these vehicles, it is not surprising that head injuries occur when accidents happen. There’s also the fact that young children don’t have the focus. responsibility or judgment to control a vehicle.
Despite all this, you should note that your child may not necessarily be responsible for their injuries. If the child is merely a passenger but somehow gets injured, the adult who is driving may be liable. It may even be a case where there was something wrong with the golf cart or one of its components. If someone else may be at fault for what happened, it is best to speak to an attorney. For more on this, see www.866attylaw.com.
Golf Cart Safety Tips for Parents and Kids
Many parents wouldn’t let their kids drive golf carts or even travel in them if they knew the statistics we mentioned earlier. However, now that you are aware, you should also know that there are ways to use these vehicles safely. It is important that you put rules in place for your child and supervise them as they use the golf cart. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines for children’s use of ATVs and similar vehicles apply here.
· Don’t allow children under the age of six to ride in golf carts.
· Don’t let children under the age of 16 driver golf carts.
· Try to use a golf cart with all-wheel brakes and seat belts.
· Make sure your child sits back in the gold cart and holds onto the handgrips.
· Drive at speeds under ten miles per hour.
· Adjust your driving to suit the weather and the terrain.
· Avoid driving the car on the street or at night.
· Brake earlier and slower than you would in a regular vehicle.
Letting your child drive a golf cart may seem like a harmless, fun activity. However, as you can see, it can be quite dangerous. There is a risk of concussion, broken bones, and other injuries. If you still want to let your child ride in a golf cart, be sure to take the necessary precautions and put some rules in place.