Golf carts have moved from the country club to being commonly used by homeowners and businesses. Little thought has been given to the actual danger they pose to the unsuspecting driver or passenger. They can be seen as an attractive transportation solution, being convenient, relatively comfortable, quiet and inexpensive. They are being modified to be street legal where communities allow them. They are also commonly used to transport guests and prospective buyers around real estate developments and resorts.
However, most have no doors or any effective barrier to prevent riders from being pitched out during their operation. Most have little more than a small hand hold on the edge of the seat which would never prevent the seated passenger from being ejected. Probably the most common problem is the ejection of a front or rear seated passenger when the driver makes a sharp left or right turn. Golfers become accustomed to this danger and commonly hold fast to the available upper hand hold on its top. Children and teens operating a private cart, along with unsuspecting prospective buyers being driven from place to place, often have no clue of the danger. When the driver makes a left or right turn sharply, without warning or too quickly, passengers may be literally ejected at considerable speed.
We have represented guests who were ejected in this way from a cart while being driven on golf resorts, as well prospective buyers looking at real estate. These unsuspecting passengers frequently are thrown a great distance and have a bad ending when they collide with a sidewalk or land against a tree. The owner of the cart, as well as the driver, may be held legally responsible for the harm and losses the injured person suffers.