Golf Carts

The following is a brief compilation of information and resources that should be of interest to parents curious about the safety of their children while riding on or driving golf carts.

From the HUB/CAN-SURE Residential Insurance Policy (that it is assumed all Cottagers have):

Special Limitations

Watercraft And Motorized Vehicles You Own

You are insured against claims arising out of your ownership, use or operation of:

  1. motorized golf carts while in use on your premises or on a golf course. You are also insured for the use or operation of a golf cart within the boundaries of a golf course or retirement community provided the golf cart is not used or operated on any public roads or by any person under the age of 16.

British Columbia – Neighborhood Golf Carts

The Villages (FL) – A Golf Cart Community

The US National Golf Cart Association

 Golf Cart–Related Injuries in the U.S.

Daniel S. Watson, BS, Tracy J. Mehan, MA, Gary A. Smith, MD, DrPH, Lara B. McKenzie, PhD, MA

Background: Golf carts today are used in a variety of public and private settings. Injuries related to golf carts are an important and increasing problem for people of all ages. This study analyzes trends and potential causes of nonfatal golf cart–related injury on a national level.

Methods: The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database was used to examine all cases of nonfatal golf cart–related injury treated in U.S. emergency departments (EDs) from 1990 to 2006. Analysis was conducted in 2007.

Results: An estimated 147,696 (95% CI_144,404; 150,987) injuries, involving individuals aged 2 months to 96 years, were treated in EDs in the U.S. for golf cart–related injuries during the study period.  Injuries to children (aged _16) constituted 31.2% of the cases.  The most common type of injury was soft tissue damage (47.7%).  Patients required hospitalization in 7.8% of the cases.  Falling from a golf cart was the most common cause of injury (38.3%).  Of golf cart–related injuries with a reported location, 70.3% occurred at sports facilities, 15.2% occurred on streets or public property, and 14.5% occurred around a home or farm.  The number of golf cart–related injuries increased steadily each year, with an increase of 132.3% over the 17-year study period.

Conclusions: Given the growing capabilities and popularity of golf carts, coupled with the marked increase in golf cart–related injuries observed over the study period ( _130%), intensified efforts are needed to prevent these injuries, especially among children.

(Am J Prev Med 2008;35(1):55–59) © 2008 American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Click here to see the full report.





The coordinated experimental dynamic dummy testing and biomechanical computer simulation program presented in this study indicate that current golf car and PTV designs create a situation where young passengers are especially susceptible to ejection during moderate left turns.  Furthermore, when passengers use the provided outboard hip restraint as a handhold, little protection is provided because the ejected passenger can easily rotate about the hip restraint due to the small size of the hip restraint and the insufficient leverage provided when holding onto the outboard handhold with the right hand.  While a previously proposed center-mounted left handhold does offer better ejection protection when used, this feature cannot protect a passive occupant.  Therefore, a lap belt restraint, which is extremely effective at preventing ejection, is the best method for preventing child ejections.  Furthermore the lap belt need only withstand minimal forces to prevent ejection during a non-impact event and thus automotive strength seatbelts meeting current Federa Motor Vehicle Safety Standards are not necessary to prevent occupant ejections.


In light of these results, it is recommended that children be prohibited from riding in golf cars without seatbelt type restraints when used on golf courses.  If children are allowed to ride on golf cars with no seatbelts then, at the very least, a centrally mounted handhold should be provided to reduce the likelihood of ejection.  Furthermore, passive hip restraint effectiveness should be improved on all golf cars and PTVs by increasing the size of the restraint in order to improve occupant retention when a seatbelt is either not provided or not used.  When golf cars or PTVs are driven outside a golf course setting seatbelt type restraints should be provided for all occupants, especially when those occupants are children.  The community of Palm Desert in California offers one example of the type of safety rules that should be implemented in local communities.

Click here to see the full report.

Palm Desert CA – Golf Cart Program

Click here to see Palm Desert’s Golf Cart Program pamphlet.

Golf Cart News

Note: I was not able to find the complete report “Golf Carts and Children: An 11-year Single State Experience” referenced in the Golf Cart News article.