Golf cart injuries are increasing, rising 132 per cent since the 1990s. The most common cause of golf cart injury? Falling or jumping from the gold cart. Don’t become part of the statistic. Golf carts are convenient and fun to drive, but little people consider the dangers that come along with them.
Follow these ten golf cart safety tips to prevent any risks.
1. Remain Inside the Cart
Just like when riding on a roller coaster, all body parts should remain in the golf cart while in motion. You or your passengers should never stick an arm out or drag a foot below the cart.
Golf carts are unstable, and this little bit of weight can cause them to tip. You could mess up your balance and fall entirely out of the cart. And you never know what a body part could hit if you let it stray outside the cart.
Even though golf carts don’t travel at top-speeds, any of these incidents could cause extreme injury. Play it safe and stay entirely inside the cart.
2. Don’t Drink and Drive
Just like a regular vehicle, you should never drink and drive a golf cart.
Drinking causes the following symptoms:
- Reduced coordination
- Slow reaction times
- Inability to concentrate
- Problems with vision
All of these symptoms can quickly become deadly when paired with a motor vehicle. Save yourself the trouble and always walk, call a taxi, or carpool if you have been drinking.
You may think that since a golf cart is smaller than a standard vehicle, it’s okay to drink and drive. But it’s not! Drinking and driving are not only dangerous to yourself, but it’s also hazardous to your passengers and pedestrians.
3. Never Overcrowd
Golf carts come with a maximum capacity for a reason. You should never attempt to fit more people on a golf car than it is made to handle.
A general rule is that every passenger should have their seat inside the golf cart. Never allow passengers to sit on laps or hang off the side or back of the cart.
Overcrowding your golf cart makes it easier for passengers to fall off or get injured. Adding more weight puts more strain on the golf cart, making driving dangerous.
4. Avoid Distractions
Distracted driving is dangerous driving. When you get behind the wheel of any vehicle, your concentration should remain on driving.
The Road Safety Commission lists texting while driving as the most common form of distracted driving. But any activity on your phone, such as answering a call or using a navigation system, is distracting.
Distracted driving also covers eating while driving, adjusting vehicle controls and music, or loud passengers.
5. Use Seatbelts
Seatbelts are one of the first golf cart safety tips. While most golf carts don’t come standard with belts, it’s an accessory you shouldn’t go without.
Seatbelts help make sure that everyone remains inside the golf car. And when everyone remains inside the cart, they are less likely to be injured.
Not wearing a seatbelt is the leading cause of death in motor vehicle accidents. If you don’t wear a seatbelt, you’re eight times more likely to be killed in a crash.
6. Embrace Hand Signals
Proper golf cart training will teach you that hand signals are your best friend.
The most common hand signals involve turning and stopping. Here are the basics:
- Left-hand turn – Your left arm straight out the left side of the golf cart.
- Right-hand turn – Your left arm out the left side of the golf cart, but pointed upwards at the elbow.
- Stopping – Your left arm out the left side of the golf cart, but pointed downwards at the elbow.
Even if your golf cart comes with brake and signal lights, you should also use hand signals.
7. Avoid Sharp Turns, High Speeds
Golf carts aren’t racing carts. You should never drive your golf cart at its maximum speed. Keep your golf cart speeds to a minimum for everyone’s safety.
Also, avoid sharp or sudden turns. An unexpected turn in a golf cart can lead to your cart tipping over or a passenger falling out. Always slow down for corners and take them carefully.
These rules are especially important when driving on hills or turning on blind corners.
8. Be of Age
A class C drivers license is required to operate a golf cart. Therefore you should never let children or unlicensed drivers operate your golf cart.
If you have a license but are under 16 years of age, you need to have the supervision of a fully-licensed driver. Anyone licensed over the age of 18 can drive a golf cart unsupervised.
9. Avoid Bad Weather
Golf carts are designed to operate on golf courses in fair weather conditions. Golf Carts with split acrylic windshields provide abysmal visibility during wet weather. Rain covers can distort your peripheral vision causing you to think you’re about to run into a tree that isn’t there.
Avoid driving your golf cart in the snow or during heavy rains. Golf carts aren’t made to handle adverse weather conditions.
And since most golf carts aren’t enclosed, you won’t want to be driving in cold or bad weather anyways.
10. Perform Regular Maintenance
No matter if you’re using your golf cart on the course or driving it around the neighbourhood, you need regular maintenance.
It’s best to have a qualified professional service your golf cart regularly. You should always set up an appointment before using your cart for the first time in a while.
While driving your golf cart, pay attention to how the cart is driving and handling. Never drive a golf cart that is running differently than usual.
Beyond Golf Cart Safety
Now that you know all about golf cart safety, you’re ready to purchase your own.
Golf carts are a significant investment and can fit with every lifestyle. Are you wondering what other uses a golf cart has? Check out this article on non-golf reasons for buying a golf cart.
Ready to purchase your golf cart? View our large selection of golf carts online.