Golf carts are not just for the golf course for many residents of Orlando communities. With the warm weather year-round, many neighborhoods are golf-cart friendly and people use these carts to get around and enjoy amenities where they live.
Unfortunately, golf carts can be just as dangerous as passenger vehicles, if not more so. A collision or an accident could happen in a golf cart and could cause injuries or fatalities. If this occurs, an accident lawyer in Orlando can help you to understand your legal rights.
The Risks of Golf Cart Injuries in Orlando
Insurance Journal recently reported on the risks of golf carts when used to get around Florida neighborhoods.
Each year, an estimated 13,000 golf-cart related accidents in the U.S. necessitate visits to emergency rooms. As carts become cheaper and more fun to drive around, the number of accidents is increasing. Although there are not many studies on this issue, one report in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine showed that the number of injuries involving people on golf carts increased more than 130 percent over the past 17 years.
Approximately 40 percent of accidents on golf carts involve children who are under the age of 16. Many parents don't consider it a risk to allow their younger children to operate golf carts and young teens who do not yet have their drivers' licenses may use golf carts to get around their neighborhood and see friends.
Unfortunately, about half of the deaths of kids under the age of 16 that occur on golf carts involve the child falling off the cart as it is moving. Golf carts do not have the same kind of safety features as traditional vehicles do and it is easy for someone to fall off and get hurt.
Many ejections occur during left turns based on crash test studies using child-sized dummies. Children are especially likely to fall out of golf carts because of their smaller size and because they are not strong enough to hold on to the railings that exist to keep adults in the golf cart. When the golf cart makes a left turn, the railings can actually act as a fulcrum that sends children up and over the side of the cart. This increases the chances that the child will land on his head after a fall, and thus may suffer brain damage or deadly brain injuries.
Golf carts typically don't have seat belts that would be able to keep kids inside and prevent them from tumbling out during a turn. Adding seat belts, however, would create other problems. The belt wearer would not be able to get out of the cart if it rolled over. The top of the golf cart, the canopy, is not typically crush-proof and a person who is trapped inside of it by the belt could be crushed to death if it rolled. Rollovers are also a common type of golf cart accident, but are most likely to occur in hilly areas rather than when making a turn.
Central Florida accident victims and families who lost loved ones can contact Winter Park, FL personal injury attorney Richard B. Troutman by calling 866-434-5770 or visit http://www.richardtroutman.com.