Avoiding Golf Cart Injuries in Southwest Florida
There is a significant number of golf carts being driven each day in southwest Florida. With such a high percentage of people driving them, you can only assume that there will be golf cart injuries from time to time. So, what does
Florida law say about people who are driving these golf carts?
Golf carts were designed to be used on golf courses to get to and from each tee. Their use also used to be limited to golf clubs and privately owned courses. However, their popularity has boomed, and they are now seen on public roadways and within golf communities.
Common Golf Cart Injuries
Some of the more common golf cart-related injuries are the result of negligent drivers. They may run into a golfer or other pedestrian, hit another golf cart, crash into someone that is riding a bicycle, drive into a fixed object, or turn too quickly and throw the passenger from the golf cart.
Florida Law and Golf Carts
Florida courts have found golf carts to be dangerous and capable of causing great harm. For this reason, the golf cart owner is liable for the cart. This means that even if the owner isn't the one driving the golf cart, they will still be held liable for the negligence and carelessness of someone else using their golf cart with their permission.
So, if an accident and injuries happen, both the driver of the golf cart as well as its owner will be held legally responsible for what happened.
Operating a Golf Cart
In Florida, in order to legally operate a golf cart, the driver needs to be at least 14 years old. A valid driver's license is not required and the golf cart doesn't need to be registered in the state. Golf carts do not receive tags and do not require insurance as a regular vehicle does.
A golf cart's top speed, according to state law, is only 20 mph and can only be driven on designated public roads where they have been permitted by law. Permitted roads include those in golf communities, mobile home parks, and a very limited number of other Florida roadways. They can also only be driven between dawn and dusk unless they have lights, windshield wipers, and other safety features.
When operating a golf cart on public roadways, all traffic laws must be followed. So, there should be no speeding, no reckless driving, and all traffic lights and signs should be obeyed.
Golf Cart Insurance
Typically, golf carts that are owned by a course or resort will be covered under commercial liability insurance. However, a golfer driving their own cart is usually covered under their homeowner's insurance policy. This kind of policy may not provide liability coverage, so you will want to look for other policies.
Avoiding Golf Cart Accidents
To avoid golf cart accidents, refrain from operating a golf cart while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You also need to follow all the road rules and signs while making sure to yield to all pedestrians, just as you would if you were driving a regular vehicle.
Before exiting the golf cart, be sure to lock the brake and always limit the passengers you carry to remain in the designations of your cart.
Have you or someone you know recently been involved in a golf cart accident? You may be eligible for compensation for any injuries sustained during the accident. To discuss your case, contact an experienced personal injury attorney today.