Golf Carts, Scooters & LSV
Due to several environmental, social, and economic factors, the use of golf carts has become increasingly prevalent. These vehicles are no longer exclusively found on golf courses, but in residential areas, universities, business complexes and more. The term “golf cart” is used here to describe any 4-wheeled, electric or gas powered, vehicle that does not qualify as a Low Speed Vehicle (LSV). A typical golf cart’s top speed is between 12 and 15 mph while Low Speed Vehicles top speed is between 20 and 25 mph. None of these type of vehicle are designed to comply with the standards applies to common passenger’s vehicles. Even though these vehicles, legally in some towns, do share the road with regular vehicles where the speed limit is 30mph or even 35mph. This will increase the number of accidents in which Golf Cart or LSV will be involved. This number currently stands on 13000 per year out of which 40% of these accidents involve ejection which due the fall dynamics cause, in many cases, head injury.
Taking a sharp turn in high speed – causing ejection of the front passenger or rear seated passenger
High acceleration/Deceleration, due to the characteristics of the DC motor that drives the cart, might cause ejection of rear seated passenger
Brake and Accelerator pedals too close to each other
Motor torque overcomes the braking torque.
Runaway golf cart
Services FEI provides
Measure the velocity and acceleration of the cart in case of ejection
Check the functionality of the brakes in particular the parking brakes
Determine the functionality of the accelerator pedal in case of runaway cart
Check compliance with standards
FEI case examples
Ejection from rear seat
A 12 year old, seated at the back of a golf cart, was ejected from the while the cart was turning. Using ATB (Articulated Total Body) the cart motion as well as the motion of the girl was simulated. The simulation results indicate that the lateral forces exerted on the girl were high enough to tip her over the hip restrain. Moreover, it the restrain was higher by a few inches it would provide a support that is needed to avoid the ejection.
Collision with a motorized shopping cart
A by stander was hit by a motorized shopping cart and suffered serious injuries. Our investigation found out the cart speed is approximately 2.5 mph and the magnitude of impact force, during the collision, can exceed 250 lbs. This force can cause a major injury if the bystander’s ankle is impacted or cause him to fall if he is impacted by the basket. In any case, the fact that these carts are accessible to the customer without any supervision or restriction imposed by provider present a risk to customers.