Archive for July 12th, 2011
I have noticed that the number of golf carts in my neighborhood has increased dramatically over the past couple of years. Families are using them as an alternative to driving their cars to the pool, to swim meets, or to visit a neighbor. With the price of gas, I can understand why.
However, the safety issues involved with a golf cart concern me, particularly when I see so many children behind the wheel**. Almost every serious golf cart accident I have heard or read about involved someone falling out of a golf cart and hitting their head on the ground or curb. I know Travelers, one of our companies, had two large umbrella losses in the community of Savannah, Georgia, that involved people falling out of a golf cart and dying from hitting their head.
Neither of these accidents were caused by people playing around. Rather, the accidents resulted from the drivers making an unexpected turn.
Recently Insurance Journal ran an article regarding the deaths that have occurred as a result of golf cart accidents in South Carolina. Click here to read the entire article. While I don’t think we need to require helmets to drive a golf cart, I do think seat belts in golf carts are a great idea – but they only work if you use them.
**South Carolina law states that those who wish to operate a golf cart must be at least 16 years old and possess a valid South Carolina driver’s license. The driver of the golf cart must have the registration card of the golf cart and his or her driver’s license while operating the golf cart on highways.
(We learned this the hard way a few years ago when we allowed our son to drive a rented golf cart down the street and back at the beach. When he returned to the house, he was not alone. He was being escorted by a policeman because he was under age.)
Did You Know?
The state of South Carolina requires a permit for a licensed driver to operate a golf cart during daylight hours on a secondary highway or street within two miles of his residence or place of business. For more information on how to obtain a permit from any DMV office, click here.