Don’t let the slow speed and small size of golf carts and low speed vehicles (LSVs) fool you. Golf cart accidents are an unfortunate reality, with the Consumer Product Safety Commission reporting more than 10,000 injuries that needed emergency room treatment. In 2006 alone, there were 13,411 golf related injuries, according to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Some of the reported injuries were fractures and head trauma.
Reliable brands are able to install safety features in each model. Just like driving a car, these safety ensure that the driver takes the necessary action to avoid injury and any damage to other vehicles. Here are some of the safety features to look out for when looking for new street legal golf carts.
Rear View Mirror
Just like driving an automobile, having a rear view mirror gives the driver a view of cars and pedestrians that are nearby. It also helps the street legal gas golf carts driver look out for close objects or potential obstacles while they’re driving. When scouting around the market for used street legal golf carts, it might be best to buy one that includes a rear view mirror. Otherwise, you could buy this separately from other suppliers.
A golf cart is open and leaves the driver vulnerable to elements like the wind. The windshield will protect the driver from the such external elements, assuring him and passengers a smooth ride. There are also tinted windshields available in the market for those who want protection from the sun’s glare.
Passengers and drivers must be protected at all times. Seat belts ensure that each individual riding and driving the golf cart is protected from the sudden impact of a quick break or even a crash. Without a seat belt, a person can easily fall out of the vehicle and sustain injuries. It’s crucial for every one on a golf cart to put on a seat belt before and during any journey, no matter how slow and short it may be.
Safe driving is about stopping and going at the right pace. Thus it’s important for golf carts to have properly working brakes. These parts are most crucial when the golf cart is going up and down a hill, a common elevation on courses. A golf cart will also have to stop properly when faced with faster and larger vehicles on the road. When looking through street legal custom golf carts options, be sure to check this feature first and foremost. Knowing how it works and the proper maintenance protocols will assure everyone of more safe rides.
Head Lights, Tail Lights, Brake Lights
Golf carts are especially vulnerable at night time. Head lights, tail lights, and brake lights make sure that the vehicle is seen. Head lights are most crucial during sharp turns and at blind spots, as it will signal the golf cart’s presence to the incoming vehicle. The golf cart’s presence also needs to be seen by vehicles coming from behind. Be sure that the street legal gas golf carts you’re considering also come with brake lights and tall lights. Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires LSVs to have head lights, tail lights, and even stop lights.
As an alternative, some models offer LED lights. This type of light is brighter than the regular halogens, making night time travel even safer. They also use less energy and last longer for over 50,000 hours.
Front and Rear Turn Signals
Turn signals are mandatory for any golf cart or LSV that will be taken to the street. The NHTSA mandates these signals for a good reason. Any incoming or nearby vehicles needs to be informed of the golf cart or LSV’s next move. Don’t forget to switch on this signal before making that turn.
Reverse Warning Device
While a reverse warning device isn’t among the first safety features to consider, Georgia’s law requires that golf carts have this when taking the vehicle to the streets and multipurpose pathways. This device explicitly warns and informs everyone nearby that the vehicle will be backing up. It only stops once the golf cart is no longer in reverse, giving the vehicle enough time and space to backup completely.
Apart from the standard safety features, golf cart and LSV owners should check their state law’s safety guidelines. Street legal golf carts in New Jersey are required to have the manufacturer’s safety information decal stated on the vehicle’s rear. If there is a child passenger, he or she must have the same restraints standards met in other passenger vehicles. Remember that safety features aren’t just about what the vehicle has but also how the driver navigates. It’s also important for passengers to follow protocol such as putting on seat belts and avoid distracting the driver. All these precautions and features will help in preventing golf cart accidents.