Golf Carts on Main Street

Soaring fuel costs are seeing more people turning to non-conforming vehicles, such as golf carts. But studies show that they are a risky mode of transportation.

1 minute read

June 13, 2008, 8:00 AM PDT

By Michael Dudley


"If you're driving in the United States, you're unlikely to see one passing you at 140 klicks on I-95, but they're becoming a lot more popular as a means of transport outside their natural habitat.

We're talking, in case you're wondering, about the humble golf cart.

With its rise in popularity as a residential runabout has come the realization that there are a lot more golf-cart-related injuries every year than you'd think, according to research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Center for Injury Sciences.

Its study, to be published in the June issue of the Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection and Critical Care, found there were more than 48,255 golf-cart-related injuries in the United States between 2002 and 2005, with the highest injury rates in males 10 to 19 years old and those over 80.

'A golf cart's small size and ease of use has led to [its] adaptation to an all-around transportation option for people in retirement neighbourhoods and communities,' the report says. 'In fact, some communities encourage golf-cart use as a primary means of public transportation because of their low emissions, quiet operation, and presumed safety.'"

Thursday, June 12, 2008 in The Globe & Mail

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