With great year-round weather, Florida is home to a bustling population of urban and suburban dwellers. The Sunshine State has over 1,000 golf courses and over 21 million people across 30 different metro regions.
This makes Florida a fascinating place to call home, as it is continually developing and growing as more and more people relocate yearly to take advantage of the pleasant climate and low taxes. The biggest problem with residing in a heavily populated region is the inability to get around quickly.
However, as long as you’re familiar with the rules, a golf cart is a fun and convenient way to travel across Florida’s landscape. The upkeep, fuel, and insurance for a car are all costly, and the congestion they cause on the highways causes air pollution and makes getting about town more time-consuming. Therefore, many Floridians have turned to less conventional modes of transport, such as the bicycle, public transportation, ride-sharing apps, and even golf carts.
Golf carts are common in the suburbs of Florida’s major cities, including Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which may surprise visitors and new residents. If you are considering getting a golf cart, read on to understand the Florida laws governing the use of golf carts on the state’s public roads.
Guidelines for Operating Golf Carts and Personal Transportation Vehicles
In Florida, golf carts must have efficient brakes, steering, safe tires, a rearview mirror, and front and rear red reflectorized warning devices.
It is illegal to drive a golf cart on a public road unless the appropriate local authority has designated it as safe for golf carts. Roads that are approved to be safe for golf carts usually have appropriate golf cart signs.
You can only drive a golf cart on streets with speed limits of 30 mph or less. However, golf carts can legally cross roads with 45 mph speed limits or less, but they are not allowed to travel on them.
Unless the local government has permitted night driving and the golf cart is fitted with headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and a windshield, golf carts may only be driven during the day.
Under no circumstances should anyone under 14 attempt to operate a golf cart on a public road or street. And golf carts must travel no faster than 20 miles per hour.
Golf Carts vs. Low-Speed Vehicles (LSV)
Identifying what distinguishes golf carts from other low-speed vehicles is crucial to understand the rules governing them. Both types of vehicles are frequently seen cruising around residential neighborhoods. But they are significantly different despite their striking visual similarities.
Florida law specifies that LSVs are four-wheeled electric vehicles with a top speed above 20 mph but under 25 mph.
Some golf carts can qualify as LSVs, but more often than not, you’ll rarely find an electric golf cart traveling over 20 mph. People over 14 can operate standard golf carts on public roads with a speed limit of fewer than 25 miles per hour. Take note that even if you’re only 14, you still need to know the road rules if you plan on taking your golf cart out on public roads.
If a golf cart goes faster than 20 mph, it is no longer a golf cart but rather a low-speed vehicle and must follow LSV regulations. Florida law mandates that LSVs be registered with a tag and insurance coverage at the state level, just like any other motor vehicle.
Florida mandates that drivers have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Still, LSV owners are strongly advised by our accident lawyers to purchase additional protections like bodily injury, uninsured motorists, and medical payments.
Can You Get a Ticket When Driving a Golf Cart in Fort Lauderdale, Florida?
Yes. If the police in your area or the state of Florida detect your golf cart breaking the law, they will issue you a ticket. Some examples are driving too fast for the conditions, on the wrong roads, or even driving under the influence.
You can get a DUI for operating a golf cart. Be a responsible golf cart driver and avoid unpleasant encounters with local authorities.
Driving a golf cart or LSV in Florida may be a lot of fun if you obey the law and exercise caution, so long as you read and heed all of the guidelines listed. However, other careless motorists on the road pose a threat even if you operate your golf cart or LSV safely.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a golf cart accident in Florida, the lawyers at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers are here to ensure you get the care you need. Contact us now for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been injured in a golf cart accident and need advice on what to do next.
Golf Cart Accidents Are Common
Thousands of people get hurt in golf cart accidents annually. Common causes of injury include backing up and colliding with pedestrians or golfers. These vehicles can cause severe damage, most often in the form of fractures and crushing wounds to the lower extremities, legs, and back.
The state of Florida classifies golf carts as a dangerous instrumentality because of their potential for causing severe injuries. This implies that golf carts, like regular cars, can cause severe injuries if driven carelessly. When a careless golf cart driver injures someone, the law holds the owner strictly accountable, regardless of fault. The golf course could be held liable if a golfer causes an accident due to carelessness while using a golf cart.
Private individuals may also be held liable for injuries caused by golf carts. Given that a regular auto insurer does not cover golf carts, this is a severe problem. If you own a golf cart, you should check your homeowner’s insurance to see if you’re covered and, if so, under what conditions. Giving kids or strangers control of golf carts in your area is not a good idea.
Get in touch with a seasoned Fort Lauderdale serious injury lawyer immediately if a golf vehicle accident has injured you.
Protect Your Rights
Florida’s golf cart laws and regulations are comprehensive. A plethora of rules must be followed to legally operate one of these vehicles, including licensing and access to public roads. The necessity of distinguishing between golf carts and LSVs adds another layer of complexity to these laws.
No number of rules or regulations will make golf cart drivers utterly safe from harm. The results of a collision between a golf cart and an automobile can be devastating. In case of an accident, Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers can help you with your golf cart accident injury case.
The Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers team has extensive experience advocating for Florida golf cart accident victims. For a free consultation, You can reach us at (561) 800-8000 or through our contact page.