Golf carts, known for ages as the vehicles by which golfers get from one hole to the next, have gained popularity over the years for more than just golfing. In fact, these vehicles are now so popular that people are taking them everywhere – even on highways.
Golf carts are not only energy-efficient and cheaper than regular cars (costing from about $8,000 to $11,000), but according to seniors at retirement communities, they are also fun to drive. They have become something of a way of life, providing them with a way to get from doctors’ appointments and art classes, to grocery stores and restaurants.
As if the roads are not already inherently dangerous enough, adding golf carts to the mix only furthers the risk of accidents and injury. According to a senior policy advisor at AARP who specializes in transportation, riding in a golf cart on a road where cars are present can be just as risky as riding a bicycle on the same road.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2017, there were an estimated 18,000 golf cart injuries requiring emergency room visits across the country. In South Carolina, it is not uncommon to find golf carts driving in the middle of heavy traffic. Fortunately, Carolina Beach is currently taking measures to help diminish the risk of injury. Earlier in the year, officials in the area raised the standards for golf carts; making it mandatory for drivers to obey laws formerly reserved for drivers of cars and trucks, including the use of seatbelts and turn signals.
However, South Carolina is not alone. From prohibiting them from being driven at night, to limiting them to roads with slower speed limits, to requiring drivers to have a license, many other states have already taken measures to regulate the use of golf carts. This is important considering more than 350 cities and counties have already adopted laws that allow golf carts to be driven on their roads. Low-Speed Vehicles (LSVs) have top speeds of 25 mph (often because they are electric). The number of states that allow LSVs, on public roads has also boomed over the last couple of decades. In 2001 there were only 15, while in 2016 there were 47.
Protecting the public extends beyond making golf cart drivers follow the normal rules of the road – it is equally important to build roads that are safer for golf carts. This may include providing golf cart lanes, using medians and landscaping to slow down traffic, and posting signs to caution drivers to watch for golf carts.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a car or golf cart accident, it is important to contact an attorney who understands your rights and will fight for the compensation you deserve. At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A., our Columbia car accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. To arrange a free consultation, call 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 today or contact us online.
We serve clients throughout South Carolina, including those in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.