Golf Cart Injury Accidents Common in South Carolina
While traditionally golf carts were used only on golf courses, people have since started to rely on these electric vehicles for other uses. For example, it is common to see golf carts on golf courses and in country clubs, residential communities, beach communities, and even downtown Charleston. Although golf carts are convenient, they also pose some serious risks to those operating them as well as others on the road.
Golf carts are designed for light use. They are slow and lack many of the safety features of motor vehicles. For example, most golf carts do not have turn signals, and many do not have seatbelts. Golf carts also have a higher center of gravity than other vehicles, similar to ATVs. This makes them much more prone to rolling over. Other common types of golf cart accidents include:
• Drunk driving accidents
• Failure to yield accidents
• Back-up accidents
• Pedestrian accidents
• Accidents in which riders fall off or are thrown from the golf cart
• Being rear-ended or sideswiped by another vehicle
When people operate golf carts on the road with other vehicles, it can be confusing to everyone involved. Golf cart operators may be unaware that the same traffic laws apply to them as other vehicles on the road. They may not know who is required to yield the right of way or whether they need to stop at a red light. At the same time, drivers of cars or trucks may not know what to expect when sharing the road with a golf cart. These uncertainties increase the risk of a South Carolina golf cart accident.
Golf cart drivers often take a casual approach to driving. These vehicles do not feel like driving a car because they are much smaller and lack the steel frame that cars provide. The prohibition against drunk driving applies equally to golf cart operators. For example, last month, a passenger in a golf cart died after a single-vehicle accident. According to a local news report, authorities later determined the driver was under the influence of alcohol. She was arrested and charged with several DUI-related offenses.
Although golf carts are not designed to transport heavy objects, people frequently use them for this purpose. Recently, six children were seriously injured in a “freak” golf cart accident. According to a recent news report, the accident occurred leading up to a children’s event at Jellystone Park. Event organizers were using a golf cart to haul stereo speakers for the event. The children were waiting outside a bounce house when one of the speakers toppled over, landing on the golf cart’s gas pedal. The golf cart then sped into the group of children, sending all six to the emergency room, two in severe condition.
Golf carts are dangerous; however, this is not commonly understood by those who own them. Many mistakenly believe that minors can operate golf carts under supervision. However, in South Carolina to legally drive a golf cart you need to be 16-years-old and have a driver’s license. Minors who do not have a license are not allowed to drive on private or public roads. Doing so can result in hefty fines.
Like drivers of other vehicles, golf cart drivers have a duty to their passengers and others on the road. If you have been injured in a South Carolina golf cart accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
Depending on the nature of the accident and the extent of your injuries, you may be able to recover money damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, decreased earning capacity, as well as for any pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident.
Contact a Golf Cart Accident Lawyer for Immediate Assistance
If you or a loved one was recently injured in a South Carolina Golf Cart accident, contact the Steinberg Law Firm to discuss your case. Regardless of whether you were the golf cart driver, a passenger, a pedestrian, cyclist, or in another vehicle, you may have a claim against the at-fault party. At the Steinberg Law Firm, we have been successfully representing injury victims and their families in and around Charleston since 1927. We are committed to advocating on behalf of our clients at every opportunity, so they can recover the compensation they need and deserve after a serious accident. To learn more and schedule a free consultation with an attorney at the Steinberg Law Firm, call 843-720-2800. You can also reach us through our online form. We represent clients in Charleston, Goose Creek, Summerville, and the surrounding areas.