Golf Cart Safety Tips for Families This Summer

Golf Cart Safety Tips for Families This Summer

It’s not uncommon to see families on golf carts zipping around local neighborhoods, especially in the spring and summertime. In larger neighborhoods, taking a golf cart to the pool can save a car ride or a longer, much warmer walk. Master-planned communities may have a grocery store or school within the neighborhood where it’s tempting to hop on the golf cart for a quick trip. In today’s post, we’re highlighting the dangers posed when golf carts are operated by a child. We’ll also touch on some important golf cart safety tips that apply to those who are legally allowed to operate a golf cart in South Carolina.

Understand the Dangers of Children Driving a Golf Cart
While getting behind the wheel of a golf cart must be incredibly tempting to children, when you review the potential risks, you’ll understand why it’s so dangerous. The National Law Review recently warned readers about the dangers of children operating golf carts. They cited a study that took place from early 2004 to late 2014 focused on 100 children under the age of 17 who were treated for golf cart accident injuries in Pennsylvania trauma centers. The study found the average age of the children injured was 11, with 27 percent suffering a concussion. The concussion risk went up for children ages 6 to 11, with 25 to 30 percent sustaining brain injury and brain bleeding. The National Law Review cites the lack of safety features in golf carts (there are none for children) and helmets not being required as possible explanations for the increase in head injuries.

Know the Laws About Operating Golf Carts
Some may not realize you must be 16 years of age with a valid driver’s license to operate a golf cart in South Carolina (also called a low-speed vehicle). The law also states golf cart use is limited to daylight hours, and the golf cart must be registered and insured (liability insurance). The law goes on to state: “a low-speed vehicle may be operated only on a highway for which the posted speed limit is thirty-five miles an hour or less.” Additionally, golf cart operation is limited to “within four miles of the address on the registration certificate.” Refer to the South Carolina Legislature website for more specifics.

Ride Safely
As a parent or caregiver, you play a vital role in keeping children safe while riding on golf carts. Follow South Carolina laws for golf cart use, no exceptions. Halloween night, for example, is one instance where locals seem to ignore the “daylight hours” mandate, as reported by The Gazette of Summerville. Another hazard highlighted by The Gazette’s Matt Bise is driving a golf cart while under the influence or traveling with an open container. Bise reports, “A driver can get charged with DUI or having an open container just like in a car.” Nationwide Children’s Hospital put together a list of golf cart safety tips.

A few to note:

  • Braking slowly and avoiding sharp turns
  • Limiting passengers “to adults and children six years of age and older”
  • Regularly maintaining your golf cart
  • Waiting until the cart has reached a complete stop before exiting
  • Using handgrips and keeping both feet on the floor (passengers)

Refer to their website for the full list.

We Are Here to Help
Contact our personal injury firm if you or a family member has been injured in a golf cart accident in South Carolina. We offer a free consultation and 24-hour answering service. We have five convenient locations, with three South Carolina locations being fully staffed with full-time attorneys and experienced support staff, or we can meet you at your home or hospital, with evening and weekend appointments available. Call John Price Law Firm, LLC at (843) 632-5672.

Teen Driving Safety Tips for Families

Teen Driving Safety Tips for Families

Are you the parent or caregiver of a new teen driver? Much anticipation and preparation likely went into getting your teen driver ready for this milestone. Many of us can remember what it was like to get our first set of car keys. We may also have memories of our first fender bender or close encounter due to severe weather or hazardous conditions. As exciting as this time can be for your child, it’s important to have a serious conversation with them about the dangers of the road. Today’s post will include teen driving stats and safety tips to discuss as a family.

 

Teen Driving Facts

The facts around teen drivers and auto accidents are alarming. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports “the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teens aged 16-19 than among any other age group.” When you view the risks per mile driven, teens are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash compared to drivers 20 years and older. Those who are at the greatest risk in this age group are males, those with teen passengers, and those who are newly licensed.

 

Contributors to Crash Risk

In examining what may lead to the higher risks of accidents for teen drivers, the CDC places inexperience at the top of the list, followed by speeding, low seat belt use, alcohol, and driving in the nighttime or on the weekend.

 

Danger Zones to Discuss With Your Teen

The eight danger zones identified by the CDC are as follows:

  • Driver inexperience
  • Driving with teen passengers
  • Nighttime driving
  • Not using seat belts
  • Distracted driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Impaired driving

 

Agree on Ground Rules for Safer Driving

After going over the aforementioned danger zones, have a collaborative conversation with your teen regarding safe driving ground rules. A few we may suggest include:

  • Always wearing seat belts
  • Following posted speed limits
  • Staying away from alcohol and drugs
  • Using turn signals
  • Putting phones and technology out of reach to reduce distracted driving
  • Limiting teen passengers
  • Limiting driving at night

Other tips highlighted on TeenDriving.com:

  • Proper hand placement on the wheel
  • A clean windshield for better visibility
  • Being aware of aggressive drivers
  • Keeping gas in your car
  • Being a safe driver at school (more on their website)

 

Additional Steps to Consider

Be sure to review the First Driver’s License section on the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) website for requirements and resources. The Insurance Information Institute recommends parents sign their teen drivers up for a driver’s education course. They also suggest looking into safe driver programs offered by your insurance company. Modeling safe driving habits around your teen is also emphasized. Spending some time on the AAA Keys2Drive website may also be worthwhile. They have a parent-teen agreement that is print-friendly and ready for signatures.

 

We’re Here to Help

Contact our personal injury firm you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident in South Carolina. We offer a free consultation and 24-hour answering service. We have five convenient locations, with three South Carolina locations being fully staffed with full-time attorneys and experienced support staff, or we can meet you at your home or hospital, with evening and weekend appointments available. Contact John Price Law Firm today.

Could You Be Liable For Texting A Driver?

Could You Be Liable For Texting A Driver?

Lately, the public and the media have had a heightened awareness of distracted driving. More states are enacting strict bans on the use of cellphones and other devices while driving, and public campaigns against texting while driving has been mounted by more states. In most states, there is a ban on the use of handheld mobile phones for all drivers, a ban on hand-held and hands-free phones for bus drivers, a ban on hand-held and hands-free phones for novice drivers and a ban on texting for all drivers.

In New Jersey, a recent decision by our court of appeals has rocked state tort law by potentially extending liability in vehicle collisions to persons not present. In either vehicle or anywhere near the scene, but who were exchanging text messages with the driver just prior to the accident.

In a decision handed down in August 2013, the court determined that a person who actively encourages a driver to respond to text messages while driving can be held liable along with the driver if the distraction leads to an accident under the following conditions:

  • The texter actually knew the driver would view the text while driving.
  • The texter has a special reason to know the driver would view the text while driving.

The decision, while groundbreaking, is limited in effect. In fact, the court found that the texter, in that case, could not be held liable because of insufficient evidence to show she knew or should have known that the driver would view her texts while behind the wheel. Nevertheless, the court’s holding opens the door for third-party texters to be liable under a narrow set of circumstances. Our car accident attorneys are following these developments and are ready to use this new precedent when appropriate in pursuit of the best interests of our injured clients.

Regardless of this ruling, texting while driving is negligent behavior that can cause accidents resulting in property damage, injuries and death. For your safety and the safety of everyone else on the road, put down the phone when you are behind the wheel.

Contact John Price Law Firm, LLC (843) 632-5672 as soon as possible after any car accident for the best results.

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