Golf cart safety

Golf carts are a common method of transportation around camps. Statistics show that injuries associated with golf carts are on the rise. The Consumer Product Safety
Commission estimates the number of accidents steadily increased from roughly 11,000 in 2002 to over 17,000 in 2007. Approximately 40 percent involved an ejection from a moving cart. Evidence also indicates that many passenger ejections occur during left turns.

Common causes of golf cart claims reported to Markel involved ejection of the passenger, entrapment of limbs extending outside of the cart, and unauthorized use.

Camp policies must include practices that govern the safe use of golf carts by authorized personnel and support passenger safety. Depending on the manufacturer of your cart, it may or may not be equipped with seat belts. Since handholds alone are not effective enough to maintain passenger safety, it is recommended that all carts be equipped with lap restraints before transporting passengers. Your camp’s policies should require the driver and passengers to wear them at all times.


It is recommended that you require golf-cart drivers to:

  • Get permission from a designated director of your management team. A list of approved drivers should be posted at all times.
  • Be 18 years of age and hold a valid driver’s license.
  • Read the operator’s manual and sign and date completion of this task.
  • Take a test drive, without passengers, to familiarize themselves with the vehicle and its operation.
  • Operate the vehicle according to the rules of the road (staying to the right, yielding the right-of-way to vehicles with passengers, and no passing).
  • Strictly prohibit racing and operating carts under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Use caution when depressing the gas pedal. Partial depression of the pedal should occur when traveling downhill.
  • Instruct passengers to hold on tight and to keep hands and feet inside the cart at all times.
  • Post a warning with this message in each cart.
  • Stop and listen for oncoming traffic before advancing quickly across roadways that are perpendicular to the flow of traffic.
This document is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. This document can’t be assumed to contain every acceptable safety and compliance procedures or that additional procedures might not be appropriate under the circumstances. Markel does not guarantee that this information is or can be relied on for compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. This publication is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. Persons requiring advice should consult an independent adviser. Markel does not guarantee any particular outcome and makes no commitment to update any information herein, or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, Markel does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss of damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content.

*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies.
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