Over the years, The Villages, a massive retirement community in Central Florida, has been using golf carts as a primary mode of transportation for the 130,000-plus residents that live there. In fact, residents at The Villages set a Guinness World Record in 2005 for having the largest golf cart parade. It’s estimated that there are around 80,000 golf carts in The Villages, which makes The Villages the largest golf cart community in the world. Indeed, The Villages is one of the fastest growing communities in America, and the number of golf carts in The Villages has grown alongside its exploding population.
This trend of an increasing number of golf carts shows no sign of slowing, and it makes sense. People in The Villages can access pretty much everything they need by golf cart. They can visit movie theaters, doctors, restaurants, and grocery stores, all by golf cart, with the 100 miles of golf cart trails in the area. Moreover, golf carts are a fun, convenient, environmentally friendly mode of travel.
Although golf carts are convenient and a blast to ride, they are also dangerous because they do not have the same safety features as other automobiles, and they are simply not designed for impact. Namely, many golf carts do not have seat belts, and folks often do not use them if they do. Additionally, golf carts do not have air bags like other automobiles. Thus, lots of people get hurt every year in golf cart accidents in The Villages.
If you’ve been injured in a golf cart accident, there are several things you can do to protect yourself and the value of your claim. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is about which attorney to hire, especially if communication is an important factor in your decision. You can call us anytime at (321) 352-7588 to set up your free legal consultation with a lawyer from our office. Now, let’s talk more about golf cart accidents in The Villages.
The Villages Golf Cart Accident Statistics
In 2020, the Taylor & Francis Group published a study on golf cart accidents in The Villages from 2011 to 2019. During the period of the study, there were an astonishing number of golf cart accidents and golf cart-related accidents. We have summarized some of the information from the Taylor & Francis Group study below.
Accidents and Injuries from Golf Cart Accidents in The Villages
Below is the total number of accidents and injuries that occurred from 2011 to 2019:
- 875 total golf cart-related accidents;
- 493 people were injured;
- 1084 people were involved in a golf cart accident;
- 69 people were disabled or killed; and
- 452 people were hospitalized.
Accidents and Injuries Separated by Location Where the Golf Cart Accident Occurred
Below is the number of golf cart injuries that occurred in The Villages, separated by the location of the golf cart accident. The study provided a total number of 1077 injured occupants (7 were unaccounted for because location of the golf cart accident was unknown).
- Golf Course: 1% or 8 accidents total
- Golf Cart Path or Lane: 29% or 314 accidents total
- Public Street: 63% or 674 accidents total
- Parking Lot or Home: 8% or 81 accidents total
Notably, the study found that most golf cart accidents resulting in death or disability occurred when golf carts were used on streets or on the road. This makes sense because a more severe accident is likely to occur where a golf cart is traveling at a higher speed or sharing the road with cars or trucks.
Golf Cart Accidents Involving Ejection
In a golf cart accident, an occupant is often ejected from the vehicle because golf carts often have open sides. Here is some of the data from the study regarding accidents where a person was ejected from the golf cart.
- 27% involved ejection of at least one occupant;
- 15% of accidents involving ejection resulted in disability or death;
- 55% of accidents involving ejection resulted in hospitalization;
- 3% of crashes resulted in death or disability where no ejection occurred; and
- 37% of crashes resulted in hospitalization where no ejection occurred.
Golf Cart Accidents Involving Rollover
Golf carts are known to turn over fairly easily, especially during a high-speed turn or an evasive or reactive turn. Thus, many golf cart accidents are classified as “rollover” accidents. During the period of the study, 10% of golf cart crashes were the result of a rollover rather than an impact. Additionally, of the 107 rollover crashes reported, 55 resulted in hospitalization; 1 resulted in a death; and 1 resulted in disability.
Common Causes of Golf Cart Accidents in The Villages
Just as with a car accident or a truck accident, golf cart accidents are often caused by careless or negligent driving. Although golf carts are smaller and lighter than automobiles, they can be dangerous, even deadly, when operated in a reckless, careless, or negligent manner.
There are many ways a golf cart accident may occur. However, there are some causes of golf cart accidents that are much more common than others. Below are some of the most common reasons golf accidents occur at The Villages.
- Reckless or careless driving;
- Distracted driving;
- Insufficient golf cart experience;
- Speeding or going too fast for the circumstances; and
- Defects in the course, road, or path.
Who is Liable in a Golf Cart Accident in Florida?
Drivers of golf carts owe a duty to those around them to drive reasonably and avoid reckless behavior. If someone breaches this duty and causes someone to suffer damages, that breach of duty could be considered negligence under Florida law.
If a driver engages in careless or reckless driving and injures a golf cart passenger, the passenger may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver or the driver’s insurance company. In the same way, a careless driver of an automobile or golf cart that hits another golf cart and causes injuries may be liable for the harm caused.
Identifying liable parties is a critical part of pursuing any personal injury claim because each liable party may have an insurance policy that could cover your damages. Florida follows the law of pure comparative negligence, and so a negligent party may be assigned a percentage of fault for the harm he or she caused. Thus, it’s important to uncover every potentially liable person or entity when you’re pursuing your personal injury claim. That way, you can gain access to all the insurance coverage available.
Should I Get a Lawyer to Help Me with My Golf Cart Accident Lawsuit?
Not every golf cart accident will require the assistance of an attorney. However, if you’ve suffered serious injuries, you should consider getting a golf cart accident lawyer to help you with your claim.
Directly after your accident, the insurance company or companies will reach out to you for information. Insurance companies are not trying to help you. Their purpose is to minimize your claim and pay you as little as possible. Thus, if you can get an attorney to stand by your side from the very beginning of your claim, you can be sure that your rights are protected. You can also rest assured that the insurance company will not be able to take advantage of you or try to bully you into settling your case for a fraction of what it is worth.
In addition to dealing with the insurance company, your golf cart accident lawyer can perform a prompt and thorough investigation to be sure critical evidence is obtained and preserved. Evidence tends to disappear or go missing over time. Thus, it’s critical to perform a thorough investigation at the earliest opportunity.
Contact a Florida Golf Cart Accident Lawyer for Your FREE Legal Consultation
If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of a golf cart accident in The Villages, you may be entitled to compensation. We welcome you to call us and schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Florida golf cart accident lawyers. We’re happy to talk with you about your accident and discuss potential options moving forward.
You can schedule your free consultation by calling us at (321) 352-7588. Alternatively, you can contact us on our website and set up your free consultation by email. At our firm, lawyers do consultations, not intake specialists or customer service representatives. Also, if we can take your case, you’ll have a direct line of communication to your lawyer. We’re here when you need us.