Golf carts can be all fun and games until someone gets hurt.
Unfortunately, there are numerous golf cart accidents and fatalities every year because of reckless drivers and people who don’t understand the danger that golf carts can bring.
If you have just recently purchased a golf cart and you want to make sure that you are as safe as possible, you should first understand why golf carts are so dangerous.
There are many reasons that these carts can cause issues, and golf cart owners and passengers should be aware.
Driving a golf cart can be an enjoyable experience, but following the rules is essential.
Are Golf Carts Dangerous? (10 Reasons They Can Be)
1. People Underestimate The Damage Carts Can Do
One of the most important reasons golf carts are so dangerous is that people underestimate the damage that these carts can do.
When people let their guard down, they often forget how important it is to stay diligent and careful.
A golf cart can be just as dangerous as a car, and it can reach speeds that even a car can reach.
This is why when you are riding in a golf cart, it is essential to recognize that falling from or being hit by a golf cart is going to result in a major injury.
For some reason, since the golf cart is not enclosed, some will ride it with much less concern.
If you have ever been in a golf cart accident or have read about them, you will know that the results are not good.
When you are in a car accident, at least there are things like seat belts to help protect you from potentially getting hurt.
When it comes to golf carts, though, they can be extremely dangerous because of the lack of proper safety equipment in place.
You can’t expect that a cart with no walls, windows, doors, or seatbelts will do you any good should the cart crash into a tree or roll over.
There is just no reason to drive a cart in any way that these things could happen, yet it happens every single day.
2. Some Don’t Have Seatbelts
Golf carts that families use to get around their neighborhoods or towns should really have seatbelts.
Most of these are going to have seatbelts in the back seats as it can be a bit more difficult to hold on and stay in place in the back of a golf cart.
Seatbelts are not something that typically come standard as part of a golf cart purchase, yet they can certainly help those who have younger or older family members they are worried about.
Seatbelts in golf carts are essential because they will give you more stability and a better position in the cart as it moves.
When you have seatbelts in place, you won’t have to worry so much about sliding as the cart goes around corners.
In addition, it is good to have a grab bar in the back of the cart.
The bar can ensure that you will have something to hold onto as the cart goes around corners.
This is important because there is really not much holding you in place, and being able to keep your hand in a position that makes you stay stable will really help.
It is essential to ensure that you install seatbelts on your cart if you can.
When using the cart to play golf, it is not really necessary to put seat belts on from one hole to the next.
However, when driving carts on roads or going on longer distance rides of any kind, the seatbelts are going to be essential.
3. Speeds Of Close To 20 MPH
Another reason golf carts are dangerous is that they reach speeds that are quite a bit higher than most golfers would ever imagine.
When you are moving from one shot to the next on the golf course, you may feel as though your speed is controlled.
The problem is when you get the golf cart on the road, and you max out its speed, you are looking at something closer to 20 miles per hour.
Many golf cart owners will put in upgraded speed packages so that they can keep up with cars while they are on the road in golf cart communities.
If you have never driven 20 mph on the road in a golf cart, you may underestimate how fast this is.
When things like a turn or a bump come up, passengers need to be holding on and keeping their hands and feet inside the cart at all times.
At higher speeds, more damage can be done.
It is essential for people who are going at very high speeds on golf carts to be careful about making sure they are secure in the cart.
As soon as you start to get unstable or feel off-balance, there will be issues with the overall ability to stay in the cart.
This is when severe injuries can happen.
Whenever possible, if the cart is moving at high speeds, try to wear a seatbelt to help you stay inside the cart.
Most of the time, the more severe injuries come from falling out of the cart.
4. Unstable Around Some Corners
Golf carts are not all that stable when going around corners.
Although at low speeds, the golf carts can manage just fine, when the speeds get higher, it becomes difficult for golf carts to stay grounded.
It does not take much to flip a golf cart.
If you are going around a corner a bit too fast, the cart will easily flip over, and it can be extremely painful for those who are on the bad side of this accident.
In addition, if you are traveling on wet or rocky pavement, the chance of flipping the cart becomes even greater.
As you turn, the wheels essentially have no traction, and there is nothing for them to grip.
The top of the cart is relatively light, and as soon as the turn is made, you may feel the cart starting to lean towards one side.
When this happens, the cart will most likely make that final tip over, and it can cause major damage to the cart and the people inside it.
You may also see this happen when you are on the golf course, and you try and take a slope that is really not meant for golf carts.
Sometimes around bunkers or tee boxes, people will take the cart in areas where it should not go.
Although golf carts tend to do just fine on most slopes, if the slope gets too steep, you can flip the cart.
The most important thing is to assess all of the terrain before traveling over it and ensure that you are safe to proceed.
5. People Get Reckless
People can get reckless when riding in a golf cart simply because they think it is a joy ride.
Golf carts are fun, and they can provide plenty of entertainment, but riding in a golf cart is not going to allow for pure entertainment.
You must be very certain about your safety and the capabilities of the golf cart while you are using it.
There are so many videos and stories out there of people doing stunts and tricks on golf carts.
These often inspire young people to attempt to do something similar.
The problem with this is that the safety issues are going to be all over the place.
You will find that safety is a primary concern simply because the ways that people are trying to use the golf carts go against the recommended practices.
Reckless behavior on a golf cart is the major reason that we see injuries and fatalities.
For those who are using the cart safely and carefully to make their way around the golf course, the risk of extreme injury is rather low.
Keep this in mind if you see reckless behavior or you know that it is occurring.
Even though it may look like fun at first glance, the situation is more than likely not going to end well.
6. Children Can Get In And Turn On
Another reason that golf carts are so dangerous is that children can easily get in them and turn them on.
This is something that parents need to be very well aware of if they own a golf cart.
The basic operation of a golf cart is not difficult.
When you get in the cart, you will turn a key to the on position, then all that is needed is a press of the pedal.
When preventing your kid from taking your car out for a spin, you will likely have the keys in another location, they may have a hard time holding the gas down to start the car, and it is a bit harder for them to reach the pedal.
With the golf cart, this is not the case.
Golf carts have a very simple operation, and even young children can figure out how to use them.
In addition, many people store the keys to their golf carts right inside the golf carts.
Many times, kids will get into the cart and all they have to do is press the accelerator to get the cart to move.
This, of course, brings up some serious safety issues, and it is essential to ensure that children are not going to have access to a golf cart at any time without being supervised.
Don’t even bring up the idea of letting kids help you drive the cart until they are old enough to understand the dangers and risks involved.
7. No Doors—People Hang Legs Out
For some reason, golfers are known for sticking their legs and feet out of the cart as they drive.
If you watch some of the great players drive from one hole to the next, many times, they have their left leg hanging out of the cart.
This has become a habit for some people, and it is a dangerous situation.
What you often see happen here is the leg gets caught on something or even gets stuck under the golf cart.
Golfers who are driving like this are likely watching what is in front of them and may not see something that is coming up along the side.
The stakes that line the golf course fairways or hazards are often hard to see.
If your foot is hanging out of the cart and gets caught on one of these stakes, you can easily break your ankle or cause more severe damage to your leg.
There is absolutely no reason to let any part of your body hang out of the golf cart.
Enjoy the fact that the golf carts are open and the air can get through, but don’t take it to such an extreme that you won’t be able to stay safe while riding in the cart.
8. Obeying Traffic Laws
Golf carts that are on the road need to obey traffic laws.
The traffic laws are essential to obey because they are there for a reason.
When you are riding in a golf cart, you can’t try and weave in and out of cars or ignore traffic signals.
In addition, for a cart to be street legal, there are some important features that the cart must have.
Most of those features include additional lights and signals and sometimes even a windshield that can protect you a bit better while traveling on the road.
These traffic laws are all in place for a reason, and although they may seem restrictive at times, they are going to be quite a bit better than the injuries and accidents that can happen if they are not followed.
Obeying traffic laws is no more difficult in a cart than in a car.
The only issue that you sometimes see is people think they are immune and ignore these rules completely.
9. Ignoring Golf Cart Rules And Suggestions
Golf carts used on the course are going to have certain rules and suggestions that you will be asked to follow.
Not following these rules could result in something happening to you or the golf cart.
The rules and regulations sometimes seem very basic, and golfers will often laugh or ignore them.
They may drive the cart in areas that are restricted, thinking that the golf course was being too strict with the rules that they had in place.
Ignoring golf cart rules and suggestions is a major mistake and one that could likely cost you quite a bit of money.
Sometimes golfers will take the golf cart close to water hazards or bunkers to simply reach in and pick up their golf ball.
This can cause the golf cart to flip into the water, and it will likely be your responsibility to pay for the damage.
Remember that when you take a golf cart out to play, you are only renting it for a short period of time, and you will be responsible for any damage that you cause to the cart.
If your own safety is not enough motivation to keep the cart in good condition, your wallet should certainly be.
10. Turn Signals And Proper Lighting
Turn signals and proper lighting are also very important on golf carts.
Would you drive your car at night without the proper lighting?
Most car owners know that this is a very dangerous practice, and they would never do it.
The same should be considered for golf carts.
Golf carts have basic safety measures in place like lights, turn signals, and more.
Make sure that you are using these the way that you would when you use a regular car or vehicle.
There is no reason to ignore the rules of the road just because you are in a golf cart.
In addition, it is essential to make sure that you have the proper mirrors installed on your golf cart.
Mirrors are low in price and can be placed on the golf cart within a matter of minutes.
Without a mirror in place, you will have to take your eyes off the road to see what is behind you and in front of you.
Don’t let this become an issue, and make sure that you can carefully watch the road by having the proper mirrors in place.
Think of driving your golf cart in the same way you would drive your car, and you should stay relatively safe.
Always remember that golf carts have nothing holding you in, and that will make them even more dangerous.