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Arizona Golf Cart Accident Statistics

Golf carts can be a great way to get around on and off the course, but as with any motor vehicle, caution must be taken while operating them.

Golf cart accidents can be dangerous for riders and bystanders, especially when they involve other vehicles. Golf carts are small, low to the ground, and are not equipped with airbags, which leaves the riders virtually unprotected in the event of a collision. In addition, golf carts travel at slow speeds, making it difficult for them to avoid collisions with larger vehicles. The smaller size and lack of protection for the riders in the cart leaves them at greater risk of serious injury or death in the event of an accident.

Statistics show that golf cart accidents cause over 15,000 injuries and 600 deaths per year in the US. Although driving golf carts is fun, many of these incidents occur due to careless driving, reckless behavior, or impaired operation of the golf cart, such as driving too fast or operating the cart while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If proper safety precautions are not followed, any golf cart can become an instrument of injury or even death.

In addition to the risks of an accident, golf carts can cause serious property damage if not used carefully. Irresponsible drivers can cause potential damage to trees, shrubs, and other objects if they are not mindful when operating the golf cart. Also, when used on Arizona roadways, drivers must follow applicable traffic laws and regulations when operating a golf cart and only operate the golf cart when they are in a sober and responsible state.

Safety and Regulations for Golf Carts in Arizona

Golf carts are street-legal in Arizona, and many use them to shop and take short trips to town. But, like in most states, there are certain restrictions that apply to make them street-legal. They must be registered, cannot exceed 25 miles per hour, and can only travel on roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less. Here are definitions for the various types of golf carts used in Arizona.

  • Golf Carts. Golf Carts are defined as vehicles designed and manufactured for operating on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and are not capable of exceeding 20 miles per hour.
  • Low-Speed Vehicles. So-called low-speed vehicles (LSVs) are defined as any four-wheeled vehicle with a top speed greater than 20 miles per hour but can not go faster than 25 miles per hour.
  • Neighborhood Electric Vehicles. (NEVs) are similar to LSVs, but also refer to golf carts modified to go at higher speeds or made street-legal.

For modified golf carts or LSVs driving on Arizona roads, the following safety features must be included:

  • Must have a windshield
  • Must have side and rearview mirrors
  • Must have a vehicle registration number (VIN)
  • Must have a license plate
  • Must have headlamps and stoplights
  • Must have turn indicators
  • Must have reflectors on all corners of the cart
  • Must be equipped with safety belts

For golf carts used on golf courses and recreationally on private roads, there is no requirement that a driver has a license, although golf courses typically restrict the use of golf carts to drivers over 14 years of age. There is also no requirement for windshields, lights, or turn signals. However, most golf carts on courses are limited to only 20 mph as their top speed, which tends to cut down on the number of accidents.

What Types of Injuries are Common in Golf Cart Accidents?

Golf cart accidents often involve a collision with another cart, a fixed object, or a pedestrian. Common injuries seen in golf cart accidents include skin lacerations, whiplash, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and internal organ damage.

Most serious golf cart accidents occur when a passenger falls out of an open-air cart and is run over by the cart’s tires or another vehicle. In these cases, victims often suffer traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, paralysis, and even death. Other types of injuries include bruises, abrasions, contusions, lacerations, and/or sprains.

One of the most common golf cart accidents in Arizona is caused by carts being driven on streets when they are not intended for street use. Many drivers fail to adhere to the designated speed limits, signals, and signage to ensure other motorists’ safety. Some carts that are not meant for street use lack headlights, taillights, or turn indicators, making them harder to see and more likely to get struck by an automobile.

Golf carts also tend to tip over during quick, tight turns, especially when driven erratically by negligent drivers. This can occur due to unsupported weight or a lack of stability within the design of the cart or if the cart is overloaded. Golf courses aren’t immune from golf cart accidents either. Impaired or careless drivers can cause accidents that result in broken bones, bruises, abrasions, and back injuries.

If you’ve been hurt or suffered a severe injury from a golf cart accident, contact the golf cart accident attorneys at Torgenson Law for a free, confidential case evaluation.

Arizona Golf Cart Accident Statistics

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, between 2014 and 2018, there were nearly 400 reported accidents involving golf carts. Of those, 13 people were reported seriously injured, and six were killed. The latest data for 2020 reports 94 golf carts were involved in accidents in Arizona, with three fatalities and 70 total injuries. Many accidents occurred on golf courses, but statistics show an increase in accidents at private residential locations and other public venues.

Most injured or killed in golf cart accidents were either the driver or a passenger of the vehicle. Common causes include speeding, loss of control due to an obstruction in the path, or a driver under the influence. Arizona accident golf cart statistics also show a substantial increase in golf cart crashes among the elderly in 2017, with most of those drivers aged 81 and older. Three-quarters of these crashes occurred during the day, with most happening on private streets and roads.

Overall, Arizona golf cart accident statistics suggest that golf courses and other venues take more responsibility for improving safety. It is essential that these establishments provide clear guidelines and warnings for operators and that drivers are properly taught how to drive golf carts responsibly. Tighter rules for public golf courses, such as setting speed limits, may also help reduce the risk of accidents.

Golf cart accidents and determining who is at fault can be a complex legal challenge.

How Can Torgenson Law Help?

It takes an experienced Arizona golf cart accident lawyer to examine the facts and build a compelling case for compensation. If you or a loved one have been injured in a golf cart accident, contact us for a free case evaluation and discover the steps you need to take to claim compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact us today or give us a call at 602-726-0747 to start on your path to compensation and recovery.

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