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7 Simple Ways to Prevent Golf Cart Injuries

July 06, 2023

When it comes to sports injuries, football and hockey tend to get all the attention. But as it turns out, golf injuries are on the rise.

But are poor swing mechanics to blame, or could there be another culprit?

“Golf cart injuries are far more common than you might think,” says David Cohen, MD, orthopedic surgeon at MidState Medical Center. “More than 15,000 people each year are injured in golf cart accidents.”

So what can be done to prevent golf cart injuries? Dr. Cohen has seven tips before your next joy ride.

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With the right precautions, most of these injuries are avoidable.

Luckily, golf cart injuries can be avoided. Before your next trip to the course, consider these tips:

  1. Always drive sober. “In terms of prevention, driving sober is critical,” Dr. Cohen warns. If you’re going to drink on the course, be sure to have a designated driver in the group.
  2. Leave the driving to the adults. “One third of golf cart injuries occur in children under 16. This is concerning, because children are three times more likely to sustain a traumatic brain injury if a golf cart accident does occur.”
  3. Avoid bumps in the road or sharp turns. “I recently had a patient whose husband was driving the golf cart and took a sharp left turn while she was not paying attention. She went flying out of the golf cart and fractured her shoulder,” says Dr. Cohen.
  4. Don’t get too comfortable. “The risk applies to everyone. 40% of golf cart injuries involve experienced drivers, so you can never be too careful,” Dr. Cohen notes.
  5. Pay attention, even as a passenger. Whether you’re driving the cart or not, you can still help prevent injuries. Never have more passengers in the cart than seats, and pay close attention at all times. And although most models do not have seatbelts, always use one if it’s available.
  6. Keep an eye on the weather. Golf carts aren’t designed to be driven in the rain. “Be particularly careful when driving on wet grass, or when going down steep hills,” Dr. Cohen suggests.
  7. Avoid heavily trafficked areas. Although most golf cart injuries occur on the course, 30% occur in other areas. Golf carts have become common in retirement communities, vacation resorts and even some neighborhoods. Wherever you’re driving, be sure to avoid crowded areas and busy roads.

> Related: How to Avoid and Treat Shoulder Injuries in Golf

Which golf cart injuries are the most common?

Specializing in sports medicine, Dr. Cohen has seen more than his share of golf cart injuries.

“The majority of these injuries are bumps and bruises, with soft tissue damaging accounting for about half,” he notes.

Other examples include:

  • Broken bones
  • Brain trauma
  • Whiplash
  • Organ damage
  • Internal bleeding

“Golf carts may seem harmless, but the potential for injury is great – and these injuries are on the rise,” Dr. Cohen warns.

So drive responsibly, and don’t let a golf cart injury add any strokes to your game.

Want to connect with the Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute?

When hip or knee pain prevents you from doing the things you love, the experts at the Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute at MidState Medical Center are here to help.

Visit website Call Call 855.902.8581