63,501 children and teenagers sustained personal injury in golf cart accidents in the US between 2010 and 2019 according to a recent study lead by Theodore J. Ganley, MD, Director of the Sports Medicine and Performance Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Chair of the AAP Section on Orthopedics.
Golf carts are being used in social events and driven by teenagers as young as 14 year old with minimal supervision
More and more, golf carts are being used outside the golf course for social events such as festivals or recreational use on farm land or community events.
As regulations are very limited in regards to golf cart driving and vary in every state, teenagers as young as 14 year old are allowed to ride a golf cart with other children as passengers. Accidents that occur the most commonly are children getting thrown out of the cart or golf cart rollover at school or sporting events.
Accidents often occur when young drivers with little experience take turns too sharp, drive too fast or don’t break enough when going downhill. Accidents also occur when young passengers put their arms or their legs outside of the golf cart.
Among all accidents under review in the study, researchers found that children up to 12 year old were accounting for 50% of all injuries and boys were injured a little bit more often than girls.
Most common injuries sustained were superficial injuries as well as fractures and dislocations mostly in the head and neck area. 95% of them were considered non-severe with 95% of patients being treated and released the same day. 5% of the injuries were considered serious and usually related to rollover accidents. Deaths are very unusual but exist. Last year a one-year-old died in a golf cart accident after a family of 3 adults and 4 children hit a pothole. The cart rolled over and the family got crushed under it.
Read more on the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia blog
Picture source: courtesy of Capitol Equipment, Marine & Golf Cart