Can I Drive a Golf Cart in My Neighborhood?
This depends on your neighborhood, the road type, and whether you have a regular golf cart or one that’s been converted into a low-speed vehicle (LSV). In most neighborhoods, you can drive a golf cart on roads with a speed limit below 25 MPH, but you should always check with local regulations. In some cases, neighborhoods may have had problems with people driving golf carts recklessly or otherwise causing trouble with them, and as a result, they might have banned golf carts or added more restrictions.
If you can drive your golf cart around your neighborhood, we recommend taking a safety course and following precautions to ensure you’re driving responsibly. Don’t be fooled by the fact that golf carts usually have a top cruising speed of 20 MPH. People can and do still get hurt in golf cart accidents. Children are at particularly high risk, with about 6.500 kids a year suffering injuries in accidents, often due to falling out of the golf cart.
When you or a loved one have been injured in a golf cart incident, you could end up with expensive medical bills or property damage. There may be multiple options for getting your bills paid, and the sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner you can find out how to proceed. The Darrigo & Diaz law firm is here to help with your golf cart accident or any personal injury due to someone else’s negligence. Your initial consultation is free, and there’s no obligation, so please call today to learn more about the possibilities for your case.
Can You Drive a Golf Cart on the Road?
In most cases, signs indicate that driving a golf cart on a particular roadway is okay. You can drive a golf cart on some streets with low speed limits and signs indicating that motorists are sharing the road with golf carts. The local government will have made sure that golf carts can travel safely on these roads before designating them for golf cart use and posting signs to that effect. The best thing to do is check with your local governmental entity – most likely, they will have a list of roadways approved for golf cart use.
There are other Florida laws about where golf carts can be used on streets:
- In some instances, you can cross a road in a golf cart if there is a mobile home park or golf course on both sides of the road.
- Golf carts can be used on parts of the state park road system where the speed limit is lower than 35 MPH if authorized by the Division of Recreation and Parks of the Department of Environmental Protection.
- In most cases where it is legal to drive a golf cart on the road, you can only do so between sunrise and sunset. If the local government has deemed it safe to use a cart on the roadway after dark, the cart needs to meet requirements such as having headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and a windshield.
- No one younger than 14 can drive a golf cart on a public road. While it’s not illegal to let someone younger than 14 drive a golf cart on private property, it’s generally not a good idea. Golf carts are not toys.
- Any golf cart driven on the road should have working brakes, a reliable steering system, safe tires, a rearview mirror, and red reflectorized warning devices on both the front and rear.
- Local governments have the right to enact legislation adding more restrictions to state laws regarding the use of golf carts in their jurisdiction. For example, some may set speed limits like 15 MPH for golf carts.
Are Golf Carts Motor Vehicles?
An unaltered golf cart is not considered a motor vehicle under Florida law and does not require registration and titling. However, some people may convert their cart into a Low-Speed Vehicle, or LSV. With some restrictions, LSVs are allowed to travel on most roads in the state with speed limits of less than 35 MPH. LSVs are also considered to have a top speed of 25 MPH.
The conversion process involves adding many safety features to the cart, including rearview mirrors, a windshield, headlights and taillights, and seat belts for each seat. An LSV, unlike a standard golf cart, also requires licensing and titling with the state. If you go this route, you will also have to purchase standard liability insurance like you would for a car. That means a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which takes care of medical expenses in an accident regardless of fault, and $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL), which covers property damage costs in an accident you cause.
Golf Cart Safety
Anyone operating a golf cart, whether in your neighborhood or at a golf course, should take a safety course and follow best practices to avoid accidents or injury. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
- If you’re driving a cart on the road, you need to know and follow the rules of the road just like a car driver would.
- Kids are at high risk on golf carts, so it may be better not to let them ride on the cart. If you do take a child on a golf cart, an adult who isn’t driving should be present to supervise them. It’s very easy for kids, especially smaller ones, to fall off a golf cart and get hurt.
- Drinking and driving and distracted driving are dangerous for car drivers, but they’re also dangerous for golf cart drivers. Wait until you reach your destination to check your phone. A golf cart is not a “safer” alternative to driving your car home if you’ve been drinking. Instead, arrange for someone else to drive you or order a rideshare.
- Go slowly, especially around curves and when navigating hills, because golf carts are prone to flipping.
Call Darrigo & Diaz Attorneys at Law
If you or a loved one have been hurt in an accident involving a golf cart, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Depending on the situation, there may be several options, including any available insurance. Please contact the Darrigo & Diaz Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss your options at 813-734-7397.