There are nearly 15,000 golf cart-related accidents that require emergency room visits each year in the United States, and The Villages has already recorded more than its share of golf cart crashes six months into 2021.
The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission indicates that 40 percent of those accidents involve children younger than 16. Half result from children falling out of a moving cart.
A major concern is that golf carts have become much faster and more powerful these days. The speed limit is 20 miles per hour, however speeding golf carts have become the norm in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
We’ve already seen our share of frightening crashes thus far this year:
• A 74-year-old New Yorker died after his golf cart collided with a two-seater Mercedes on Morse Boulevard. He was thrown from the golf cart and had not been wearing a seat belt.
• Last month, two Villagers – one 61 years old and the other 88 years old – were transported as trauma patients to Ocala Regional Medical Center when their golf cart overturned while the driver failed to properly negotiate a turn. Speed may have been a factor. Neither of the men in the cart were wearing seat belts.
• This past month, a Village of DeSoto woman was sentenced after crashing a specially tricked out golf cart with her neighbors aboard. Both neighbors were injured when the golf cart overturned. The driver provided breath samples that measured .203 blood alcohol content. Her husband had that very evening been presented with the special cart he had won from Fuzzy’s Vodka.
• In April, an 81-year-old Villager was airlifted to the Ocala hospital after his golf cart crashed in a tunnel. He was not wearing a seatbelt.
What could be done to make golf cart travel safer in The Villages? Share your thoughts in a Letter to the Editor at [email protected]