Injury Study Suggests Need for Golf Cart Safety Regulations

Golf carts are becoming a popular means of transportation away from golf courses, and new research from University of Alabama at Birmingham's (UAB's) Center for Injury Sciences says injuries associated with their use may be underappreciated, suggesting the need for the implementation of safety measures.

In findings published in the June issue of the Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection and Critical Care, UAB researchers found that there were more than 48,255 golf-cart related injuries between 2002 and 2005, with the highest injury rates observed in males 10-19 years old and those older than 80 years old.

"Golf carts are becoming a popular way to get around in some neighborhoods, particularly for adolescents and teenagers who cannot yet drive a car," said Gerald McGwin, Ph.D., associate director for research at the Center for Injury Sciences and professor of epidemiology. "A lot of people perceive golf carts as little more than toys, but our findings suggest they can be quite dangerous, especially when used on public roads."

McGwin says fractures and head trauma are among the most common injuries associated with golf cart-related accidents.

"Some communities encourage golf cart use as a primary means of transportation because of their low emissions, quiet operation and presumed safety," McGwin said. "There is little federal regulation and most states do not require operators to be of a certain age, use any sort of safety equipment, or obtain on operators license."

McGwin suggests that safety standards are needed and that manufacturers and sellers of golf carts should be required to include safety education materials at the time of sale.

Due to the high risk of rollover and ejection, the use of helmets and seatbelts is recommended, particularly if the golf cart is driven on public roads. And, McGwin added, developers should reevaluate the design of golf cart paths, addressing gradient, sharpness of curves, and proximity to other hazards.

"Golf carts are an attractive transportation solution due to their low emissions and cost effectiveness when compared to traditional motor vehicles," McGwin said. "But more stringent safety standards should be applied to the design and use of golf carts, particularly those operated on public roads."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Levels of a Risk Matrix

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe
TenCate FR Technology

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2020

    October 2020

    Featuring:

    • FACILITY SECURITY
      EHS Compliance: Make it Personal
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      Choosing the Right Safety Shoe for Your Industry
    • HAND PROTECTION
      A Requirements Checklists for Work Safety Gloves
    • COVID-19 MANAGEMENT
      Contemporary Issues in HSE Management
    View This Issue