Since January 1st, Georgians have been legally allowed to use some golf carts for personal transportation uses, not just for the golf courses anymore. The new law states that golf carts weighing less than 1,375 pounds and not able to accelerate over 20 miles per hour can be used for personal use. Those golf carts must be registered with the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles and would be intended for more rural communities and all gated communities. Registering golf carts with the DMV would have the driver register the golf cart’s title, exactly like you do for a motor vehicle. Golf carts will even be put together with basic car features- headlights, taillights, turn signals, break lights, etc.
Some people say that this new law causes confusion because there is not a clear-cut line that defines golf carts from motorized carts like neighborhood electric cars, according to WDEF.
Currently, there are 23 Georgia cities that allow golf carts to be used in the same capacity as motor vehicles. Lookout Mountain, GA is one such popular community where golf carts are prevalent. Most golf carts though are driven on the side streets and not on the state roads, and the city council keeps tabs on golf cart use. There is even safety equipment required to be used by golf cart drivers.
Peachtree City, GA is also a city well known to golf cart drivers. With more than 90 miles of multi-use pathways for golf carts, bicycles and pedestrians, Peachtree City residents use the pathways to travel from neighborhoods to schools to shopping centers. The Peachtree City police department even has several programs to create safe environments on the pathways.
Golf carts are still very dangerous to drive on roadways. Like motorcycles and bicycles, golf carts offer little structural protection. If the golf cart crashes into another vehicle or structure, there are high possibilities that the driver and passengers can be seriously injured. It is also a danger that golf carts will not be easily seen by larger motor vehicles like cars and tractor-trailers.
In 2008, about 1,000 Americans were injured a month in golf cart accidents. The UAB study is the first look that estimates the number of golf cart injuries. The report stated that golf carts are mostly involved in rollovers, collisions and accidents where passengers are flung from the vehicle. According to the report, fractures and head trauma were the most common injuries found in the study. The highest injury rates were found in 10- to 19-year-old boys and men older than 80.
Such life-changing injuries can leave a victim and his/her family with exorbitant medical bills and the need for lifelong medical care.
The Kalka Law Group specializes in helping victims of Georgia accidents caused by negligent drivers. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced in handling auto accidents, truck accidents, and cycling & motorcycle accidents.