Nationwide, golf carts cause roughly 15,000 personal injuries every year. Annually, tens of thousands of golfers flock to the dozens of golf courses in and around Las Vegas. Many use motorized golf carts during their visits without realizing the very real dangers these machines can pose.
Injuries Caused by Golf Carts
Even though most golf carts travel at low speeds, golf cart accidents can cause significant injuries. Low-speed collisions can cause concussions, whiplash, and spinal cord injuries. Should the golf cart roll out of position, or topple over on an incline, the 500 to 600 lbs weight of the vehicle is more than sufficient to break bones and cause crushing injuries.
Rollover accidents account for approximately 10% of all golf cart related injuries. A further 40% of injuries occur when occupants fall out of the golf cart while it is traveling. These rates are high because most golf carts are not equipped with seatbelts. This can make operating these vehicles that can travel between 15 and 25 mph as dangerous a proposition as riding an electric bicycle.
Liability in Golf Cart Accidents
Liability for injuries caused by a golf cart can be traced to other golfers, the driver of the cart, the golf course, or the vehicle manufacturer. A Las Vegas personal injury attorney can investigate the following factors and determine who bears the liability for the injuries.
- Driving Behaviors. Many injuries are caused by negligent driving behaviors such as speeding, “showboating,” and failing to follow posted signs and course guidelines. In fact, it is not uncommon for alcohol or drugs to lead to dangerous driving behaviors that can injure other golfers or guests. In cases where another golfer has been overserved alcohol by establishments on course grounds, the course operator can be held liable for the accidents and injuries their negligence has caused.
- Course Design. Designers and crews that build courses with roads that contain steep grades, sharp turns, dangerous obstacles, or narrow passageways can be held liable for negligence and creating dangerous hazards for those who use the course.
- Vehicle Design. Manufacturers of golf carts that are top heavy, equipped with faulty equipment, or poorly manufactured can be held liable for the injuries their design causes to drivers and passengers.
- Vehicle Maintenance. Golf carts that are poorly maintained are a common cause of injuries. Courses can be held liable for their failure to maintain transmission, braking, and steering systems that place golfers and others in considerable danger.