EV Golf Cart Safety: 10 Key Considerations

Golf cart accidents are a grim topic, but we prefer talking about prevention rather than recovery.

EV golf carts are a familiar sight in Florida. They’re commonly used around our gorgeous golf courses, resorts, retirement communities, neighborhoods, college and hospital campuses… You get the idea. While they can be a convenient and fun mode of transportation, it’s essential to prioritize safety to prevent accidents and injuries. Let’s keep it safe.

Golf Cart Safety

Operator Training

A golf cart isn’t a slower, easier version of a car. For one thing, they have the capacity to seriously or even lethally harm someone. Legally, a golf cart owner can be liable for any damage or injury caused by the cart, even if a friend or employee was the one driving it. 

Proper training should be provided to anyone operating a golf cart. Only responsible adults* should be allowed to drive a golf cart, and they need time to familiarize themselves with the controls, how to read the gauges, how to maneuver, and other important characteristics of the specific golf cart they will be driving. Training should cover safety precautions, driving techniques, and the rules of the road including speed limits, yielding to pedestrians, and safe turning practices.

*As of July 2023, only licensed drivers over the age of 15 are allowed to operate golf carts in Florida. We recently covered this in our golf cart blog.

Designated Paths

Stick to designated paths and roadways designed for golf cart use. Avoid using golf carts on public roads meant for regular vehicles, unless permitted by local regulations. Be aware of any signage or restrictions in the area.

Speed Limits

There are very specific laws regarding speed limits for golf carts. In general, only drive on designated golf cart lanes with a posted limit of 30 mph or less.

If your golf cart is street-legal (like the EPIC Carts line at Ultimate Carts) and is registered as such with the Florida DMV, you can only take them on streets with a posted speed of 35 mph or less. 

Take it easy when driving a golf cart. You and your passengers are exposed. Excessive speed increases the risk of accidents, especially when sharing pathways with pedestrians, cyclists, or other vehicles. Stay within the recommended speed limits to maintain control and prevent collisions.

Seat Belts

If you’ve got ‘em, use ‘em. If the golf cart is equipped with seat belts, ensure they are worn by all occupants. Seat belts can prevent ejection during sudden stops or turns, reducing the risk of injuries. 

Passenger Capacity

Golf carts have specific seating capacities indicated by the manufacturer. Do not exceed the recommended number of passengers. Overloading the cart can affect stability, braking, and maneuverability, leading to accidents.

Staying Alert

Always pay attention to your surroundings while operating a golf cart. Again, you and your passengers are exposed. Be cautious of other golf carts, pedestrians, wildlife, and any potential obstacles on the path. Avoid distractions, such as texting or talking on the phone, while driving.

Yield to Pedestrians

Pedestrians should have the right of way. Always yield to walkers, joggers, and other non-motorized users. Exercise caution when passing pedestrians, giving them ample space.

Braking and Turning

Maintain a safe distance from other carts or vehicles to allow for proper braking. Depending on the model of your EV golf cart, the number of passengers, or the amount of equipment you’re carrying, can affect speed and braking time a lot more than you anticipate. When turning, slow down and take wide turns to prevent tipping or losing control.

Weather

In adverse weather conditions, such as rain or strong winds, exercise extra caution. Slippery surfaces can make it harder to control the golf cart, so reduce speed and maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel.

Maintenance

Owners: Regularly inspect and maintain your golf cart. Check the brakes, tires, lights, and signals to ensure they are in proper working condition. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.

Drivers and riders: Make it a habit to check brakes, tires, lights, and signals before driving to ensure they are in proper working condition. 

++ Remember, these guidelines are not exhaustive, and it’s essential to adhere to local regulations and guidelines specific to the area where you are operating the golf cart. Prioritizing safety and responsible operation will help prevent accidents and promote a safe environment for everyone.

 

About Ultimate Carts

Ultimate Carts is the EV golf carts arm of the Ultimate family of luxury vehicle dealerships in greater Central Florida and its coasts. The business group includes Ultimate Auto and Ultimate Marine, offering a highly personal service model that includes in-house custom manufacturing capabilities and a white-glove delivery experience. All are overseen by CEO Joe Labon, who started the first Ultimate Auto shop more than 30 years ago in Orlando. 

Service areas for Ultimate Carts include Orlando, Winter Park, Tampa, New Smyrna Beach, and The Villages. Ultimate Marine serves Sarasota to Clearwater on the West Coast, and Cape Canaveral to Jacksonville on the East Coast. Ultimate Auto is headquartered in Orlando.