Golf carts are no longer confined to the course. As a result, serious injuries
to children are on the rise, according to a new study. It found that more
than a third of children hurt while using golf carts during an 11-year
period required treatment in intensive care units.
Golf Carts Used as Transportation
Residents of planned communities and visitors to large resorts increasingly
use golf carts for everyday transportation because they are convenient,
energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and cheaper to operate than
cars. However, as the number of golf carts on the road increases, injuries
are also on the rise.
A previous report in the
Journal of Preventive Medicine found that injuries rose 132 percent from 1990 to 2006. According to the
Consumer Product Safety Commission, almost 18,000 golf cart-related injuries
requiring emergency room treatment occurred in 2015.
Children’s Injuries Involving Golf Carts
children are also at greater risk for injury, accounting for nearly one-third of golf cart injuries. Of those, 50 percent
of the injuries are related to falling or jumping from a golf cart or
the cart overturning. Children are at highest risk for falls, and falls
are twice as likely to cause a head or neck injury.
The latest study confirms that many golf cart injuries involving children
are serious. As
reported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, researchers examined data from a Pennsylvania's state trauma center
and identified 108 patients under age 18 who were treated between January
2004 and December 2014 for injuries they sustained while using a golf
cart. The study revealed:
- There was one fatality, and intensive care unit (ICU) admission was required
in 36 percent of the patients.
- More than three-quarters of the children (76 percent) broke at least one
bone. Skull fractures were more prevalent than extremity fractures.
- More than a quarter of the children (27 percent) sustained a concussion,
while between 25 percent and 30 percent of children had intracranial injury
and bleeding within the skull.
"Just because golf carts don't usually reach speeds other recreational
vehicles can, this doesn't mean they are harmless," said Mariano
Garay, MD, a Penn State College of Medicine researcher who co-authored
Given the risks associated with golf carts, we urge our readers to treat
these vehicles like they would a car or truck. That means only operating
one if you have a driver’s license, obeying speed limits, following
the rules of the road, and avoiding drugs and alcohol when behind the wheel.
If you or someone you love has suffered serious injury in a California
golf cart crash, don’t hesitate to contact
a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free