How To Drive A Golf Cart
Golf carts have been around for more than 60 years.
Although it is quite easy to operate, a golf cart is still a vehicle that, when participating in traffic, could be a potential threat for public safety if not used properly.
Before you start driving it, it is best to first understand what the golf cart is and how it works.
They are classified as part of the Neighborhood Electric Vehicles category.
In most states, a person has to be at least 14 years old to be allowed to drive the golf cart.
A driver’s license is usually not required, but in some states, you might need a permit for driving it.
However, when it comes to driving the golf cart on public roads, this is allowed only to licensed drivers.
When you drive a golf cart, the same rules and regulations of traffic apply as when you drive a car.
23 Steps To Driving A Golf Cart
1. Before you try to start up the car, be sure to press the brake down firmly and keep it in place.
Your golf cart probably wouldn’t be able to start if this is not the case anyways, but you can never be too safe.
2. You start a golf cart the same way as you would start an automobile.
You need a key which you should insert into the key slot and then turn it to the right.
However, golf carts mostly run on electricity, so by turning the key, you will just turn its battery on.
This is why you shouldn’t expect the noise that happens when you start a regular car, even though the process is very similar.
If you are getting a golf cart in the golf club, your key will usually have a number on it and that is the number of a car you should look for.
3. If your cart starts beeping as soon as you turn it on, that means it is in reverse setting.
To change it back to forward, try to find the switch.
Check the front side of the seat, somewhere between yours and your passenger’s legs.
If you locate a handle, you navigate it by flipping left or right.
In case there is a switch, you can push it on one side or another.
4. There are golf carts that run on gasoline and golf carts than run on electricity.
If your cart is operated by gasoline, don’t be surprised by the engine sound when you start it up.
5. Although golf carts have the speed span around 14-35 mph, you should still always put your seat belt on.
Golf carts are significantly less protective and balanced than automobiles, and they don’t have doors.
If some kind of incident or accident happens, you will be much safer and more secure from injuries with a seat belt on.
6. If your golf cart has the maximum speed limit of 14 mph, then there won’t be a seat belt provided.
In this case, you should pay special attention if there are any children with you in the cart.
They should know that they need to be calm and seated throughout the whole ride, but it would be best if they don’t ride in the golf cart at all.
7. Before you start driving, you need to be sure that everyone is safe on their seats, with arms and legs inside the vehicle.
8. Now you have to put the golf cart in the gear.
Most of the cart has only two of them -”R” is for reverse and ”F” is for forwarding.
The lever must be locked in place before you proceed to the next step.
9. If everything is okay, you can accelerate the car.
This is done by pressing the right pedal with your foot.
You should be very careful because the pedal reacts to the pressure you provide.
10. Start accelerating slow and steady, until you get a clearer picture of how everything works.
11. When you feel comfortable, you can add some more pressure to the pedal.
12. Keeping your foot on the pedal, gradually start increasing the pressure and accelerating your golf cart.
13. Next, you should start using the brake.
Slowly take your foot off the acceleration pedal and then transfer it to the wider pedal.
Apply the same gradual pressure that you used with the other pedal.
14. You should never slam the brake pedal, except for the extreme cases when you are obliged to do so.
15. When you want to drive backward, simply pull or turn the switch on your golf cart and then use the pedal for acceleration.
The majority of the golf carts will go slower than usual in this mode.
16. During this process, you should act like you would if you were driving your regular car.
Just put your right arm around the seat next to you and turn your body back.
This is important because you will get an excellent visualization of what is happening behind you.
17. Many local regulations don’t allow driving a golf cart at night.
If this is legal where you live, you should have the proper equipment for night driving, otherwise, it is best to restrain from it until you acquire everything you need for a safe driving experience.
18. The necessary equipment for driving a golf cart at night includes the following: headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and reflective devices.
19. Please note, golf carts are not allowed on the roads where permitted speed is higher than 35 mph.
This rule exists to protect everyone involved in the traffic, and to prevent potential jams that could be the result of a golf cart’s participation in this setting.
For access to public roads, you will need a golf cart that can go at least 25 mph, but this is allowed only in a small portion of states.
This is important to understand, so you know which routes you can take.
20. Same as in the automobile, your golf cart is equipped with the horn.
This tool can come in very handy for warning pedestrians in intersections.
21. Slowing down while turning the golf cart around is vital because even speed as low as 11 mph can result in passengers falling out of the cart or the cart flipping to the side.
There are no doors, and sometimes even seat belts on these vehicles, so falling out of it can cause serious injuries.
Always be responsible while you drive and put safety first.
It is also a good idea to keep both of your hands on the steering wheel while turning, but it wouldn’t be wrong to do it during the whole ride, either.
22. Avoid sharp turns altogether, because it is very risky for golf carts and can easily flip over and cause severe injuries and property damage.
23. No matter how careful you drive and how respectful of the rules you are, bad things can always happen.
This is why it might be a good idea to look for a good insurance agency that would help you with paying medical and damage expenses in case of an accident or an injury.
Golf carts can be very useful and even a lot of fun, but they must be taken seriously.
Although they have low speed and, in their essence, they are not too complicated for operating, there are plenty of safety issues regarding these utility vehicles.
It is very important to treat golf carts as any other vehicle and drive it responsibly.
How To Drive A Golf Cart
Frequently Asked Questions Driving A Golf Cart
How many nautical miles can a full tank of gas last in a golf cart?
This varies, but the manual should provide you with the necessary information.
If you know how much fuel is in the golf cart’s tank, you can multiply mpg by the capacity of the gas tank.
Who can drive a golf cart?
A golf cart can be operated by a person who is at least 14 years of age.
The possession of a driver’s license is needed for driving on public roads.
Why is it dangerous for the children to drive in the golf cart?
Regardless of their low-speed limit, golf carts leave their passengers very vulnerable in certain situations.
They are quite imbalanced vehicles, without doors and often without seat belts.
It is highly important for everyone who is riding to keep their limbs inside of the golf cart and remain seated during the whole time.
A study from 2008 states that more than one-third of golf cart-related injuries are children.
It is much safer if a girl or a boy waits until they are at least 16 to start operating carts.
If the child is so small that they are not able to touch the ground with the feet while sitting, they shouldn’t be driven in these carts.
It is much easier and much more likely for them to fall out of the golf cart, and they are prone to more serious injuries.
How often should batteries of electricity-powered golf carts be charged?
The batteries of a golf cart should be charged only when they are running low because if the battery is held on the charger too often when there is no need for it, it will quickly wear out.
Can a person stand in a golf cart that is in motion?
This should never happen.
A person who tries to stand in a golf cart during the ride can easily lose balance and fall off the cart, but they can also distract the driver of the cart which can result in various accidents, incidents, and injuries.
Is driving a golf cart the same as driving an automobile?
There are a lot of similarities, but even though it can seem the opposite, driving a golf cart is in a lot of ways harder than driving an automobile, and requires more concentration, precaution and safety measures.
The whole process of starting the cart up with a key, using brake and gas pedals, using gears and going backward highly resembles a car driving experience.
The main differences lay in the regulations regarding which golf carts can be driven on the public roads, and also in the mere design of the cart which increases possibilities for incidents.
Can a golf car tip over?
This is very possible. Golf carts are light-weighted, but they have heavy roofs.
As a result, these vehicles can roll over very easily, especially during turnovers.
This is why taking sharp and fast turns should be avoided at all costs.
Any distraction to the driver is very risky.
The driver has to preserve their concentration and restrain from eating, drinking, conversating, reaching for objects or using their phone while operating this vehicle.
Do golf carts have review mirrors?
This is another difficulty in terms of driving a golf cart.
They often don’t have review mirrors. which means that the driver of the golf cart must be very focused and aware of their surroundings all the time.
What to do when driving across the main street?
Sometimes, it is needed to drive a golf cart across the main road, and this is allowed.
However, in these situations, you should use extreme caution to keep everyone safe.
Remember that you should yield to both pedestrians and all of the larger vehicles.
Wait for the road to clear, and proceed steady and as slow as allowed, because falling off the golf cart can happen at almost any speed, and it is even more dangerous if it happens on the road.
If your golf cart is equipped with a seat belt, always buckle up.