More Golf Cart & Scooter Accidents Than Ever Causing Serious Injury In Florida
In Southwest Florida, the weather is beautiful all year around. This gives residents the opportunity to make use of vehicles other than cars to get where they want to go. Golf carts and motorized scooters are two of these alternative methods of transportation. If you operate one, or both of them, on a regular basis, there are a few things you should know.
More Golf Carts Than Ever
Both golfers and people in retirement communities use this method of transportation most often. But in some communities, golf carts have taken over as the preferred method of choice. They are not restricted to the fairways and cart paths on a golf course. Golf carts can be used at hospitals, sports facilities, colleges, and even airports. These vehicles are convenient for everything from sightseeing in the park to transporting down to the local mini-mart.
Due to their wide-spread usage, golf-cart related injuries have become more common in the last decade. Golf carts are created with higher speeds than ever before, with some reaching up to 25 mph. In Florida, the minimum age requirement to operate one is just 14 years. And unfortunately, people use golf carts while intoxicated, believing that it’s better than operating a car.
Golf Cart Injuries Can Be Serious
Types of golf cart accidents can vary, but some of the most common cases include:
• Collisions (between two golf carts)
• Sharp turns and reversals
• Passenger ejection
• Unsafe or slippery roadways (due to weather and environment)
• Golf carts that are struck by cars while crossing a roadway
• Pedestrian accidents
• Overcrowding (too many passengers)
• Distracted driving (texting, drinking, eating)
Golf cart operators in Florida must still conform to the laws of due care to protect their passengers and others. When accidents happen, the results can be disastrous because golf carts lack standard safety equipment such as airbags and seat belts. Injuries can be extreme, leading to permanent disability or death. Understanding the risks associated with golf cart usage is essential. If an accident or injury occurs, an experienced law firm can assist with determining negligence from the operator to the manufacturer.
Motor scooters are increasingly more popular in southwest Florida for their economy and convenience. Riding to the store, the park, or school is not only easy, it takes a minimal amount of gas. With new scooter rental companies popping up in cities all over the country, you don’t even need to own a scooter. Just unlock one with your smartphone and hop on; no experience necessary.
Accidents Can Easily Occur
Motor scooters are subject to the same rules of the road as cars. When traffic gets heavy, the risk of an accident gets higher. With more scooters on the road, more accidents can occur. Typical motor scooter accidents include:
• Rear end collisions – Motor scooters are not allowed in bicycle lanes and must ride in car lanes. Due to their smaller size and slower speeds, other motor vehicles find it difficult to see them in time to slow down.
• Loss of control – With lightweight, small tires that carry riders with a high center of gravity, sudden maneuvers or a poor road condition can send them spinning out of control.
• Door hits – Scooters often ride close to the cars that are parked on city streets to avoid heavy traffic flow. This leaves them susceptible to getting hit by car doors that open suddenly.
• Sideswipes – When motor scooters travel between lanes of slow or stopped traffic, they can get hit by other vehicles that are changing lanes. Due to their small size and quiet operation, they are not easily noticed.
Motor Scooter Safety
The best way to avoid an accident while operating a motor scooter is to use common sense and follow the rules of the road. Other good safety tips include:
• Stick to local streets that are well lit and lightly traveled.
• Avoid roads that have a high speed limit.
• Never travel between lanes during slow or stopped traffic.
• Avoid riding in wet weather.
• Wear a helmet. This can prevent serious brain trauma.
• Wear brightly colored clothing to increase visibility.
There is a higher risk of accidents on motor scooters than bicycles or motorcycles in the state of Florida. Taking the right precautions can save a life.