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Golf Cart Accident involving Rubio’s Daughter Highlights Risks

The 12-year-old daughter of Sen. Marco Rubio’s was involved in a golf cart accident over the weekend. Rubio was campaigning in the state with Mitt Romney. Just before 7:00 p.m. Romney’s campaign bus pulled over on the side of Interstate 4 between Land O’ Lakes and Kissimmee to drop off Rubio, according to The Washington Post. He caught a plane to go see his girl, who was in the Miami Children’s Hospital.

“While visiting with classmates, she was a passenger on a golf cart involved in a collision in a private gated community. She was airlifted to Miami Children’s Hospital with a head injury,” said Alex Conant, a spokesman for Rubio.

Our Port St. Lucie accident lawyers understand that about 40 percent of golf cart accidents happen because a passenger of the cart falls off. Many of these accidents involve young children, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). In addition to these kinds of accident, about 10 percent of them are the result of a rollover accidents. As a matter of fact, these accidents (rollover accidents) are about twice as likely to cause some serious injuries and hospital stays as other kinds of gold cart accidents.

Still, passenger ejection accidents are the most common. It’s usually the passenger, and not the driver, who is ejected because the driver not only has the steering wheel to hold on to, but they can also anticipate the turn.

With the lightweight frames of golf carts carried on small tires, these vehicles can be precariously unstable. They tip over easily and don’t have enough effective standard automobile safety features. In many of these cases, driver error is the cause of such accidents.

Golf carts don’t usually have seat belts either. They’re usually used on golf courses and don’t have belts so that users can enter and exit with ease. For this reason, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) doesn’t require any seat belts on these vehicles. Instead, they’re required to have handholds and body restraints to help to keep passengers in. This doesn’t always work though. One of the problems with them is that the handholds are located on the outboard edge of the seat. It doesn’t provide the leverage that a passenger needs to prevent an ejection.

Each year, there are close to 15,000 golf cart-related accidents that send people to the emergency room. This number is on the rise as the fun-to-drive carts grow more and more popular on our city’s streets.

It’s estimated that about 40 percent of these accidents involve a child who is under the age of 16.

“That’s a disproportionate amount of children, considering most golf carts are still used on golf courses by adults,” says Kristopher Seluga, a mechanical engineering and safety expert studying golf cart safety.

If you or your child has been injured in an accident, contact the injury lawyers at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez. Call us at 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Trampolines: More Dangerous than Fun for Kids!, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, October 9, 2012

Broward Traffic Safety: Parents Guilty When Children Not Buckled In!, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, August 26, 2012

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