For many people, when you picture golf carts, you assume that they’re being used on the green. However, there are plenty of people who drive their golf carts on residential and busy streets. Driving a golf cart on a public street does come with certain risks. If you want to prevent injury, there are certain steps that you should take to make sure that you’re operating your golf cart safely and legally.
First Check Your State Laws
Golf carts on public streets are illegal in some states. For example, it’s illegal in Seattle, WA under certain conditions. If you operate a golf cart on a public street without proper safety measures and adhere to the allotted speed, you can face hefty fines. This is when you consider that the majority of attorneys in Seattle are charged between $250 to $375 per hour. That’s a lot of money to spend for an easily avoided mistake.
Making sure that you fully understand the laws of each state will prevent you from fines and further legal repercussions. It isn’t just safety regulations that can cause you to get a ticket, there are also speed requirements that you need to adhere to. Golf News Net found that in most areas where golf carts are street legal, drivers must adhere to speed limits of no more than 35 mph. Also, most states also require that you have a valid driver’s license to operate a golf cart on a public road.
It should come as no surprise that golf carts lack the same safety equipment that cars do. If operated incorrectly, your risk of injury increases significantly. While you may think that, because they operate at such low speeds many injuries wouldn’t affect you, that’s not always the case. You can get injuries, such as whiplash, even at speeds of 20 mph. Injuries that you sustain while operating your golf cart can take years and long-term physical therapy to make a recovery from. Some of the injuries that you sustain on your golf cart may never fully heal. Leaving you with lifelong aches and pain and spending money on medical care.
While it is easy to injure yourself by improper use of your golf cart, there is a larger danger when operating your golf cart on a public road. You have to take into account the other drivers around you. In the event of an accident between your golf cart and a motor vehicle, you are far more likely to sustain serious and potentially fatal injuries.
While people in cars are encased and have additional safety features to protect their drivers, your golf cart is lacking in this department. A distracted driver that is traveling at a speed that is too high could result in you losing your life. When driving on public roads, always being aware of your surroundings and those on the road around you can save your life.
By no means should you ignore any precautions when it comes to driving your golf cart on public roads. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy driving your golf cart on public streets. Many people prefer driving golf cars as opposed to cars. This is especially prevalent in communities where there is less traffic and warmer weather. Golf carts are also a cheaper method of travelling than gassing up your car.
Always check your state’s specific laws before making the decision to drive your golf cart on public roads. Make sure that you know which roads are safe for your golf cart before attempting to drive on them. This will prevent you from having to spend unnecessary money on fines. Lastly, remember to always be aware of other drivers and hazards on the road.