A safety organization has released a series of tips for staying safe in increasingly popular golf cars.
Golf cars and personal transport vehicles are increasingly popular with consumers on and off the course due to their ease of use and increased utility, says the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing manufacturers of golf cars, personal transport and utility vehicles, outdoor power equipment, and small engines, and their suppliers.
“Golf cars and PTVs may look alike, but these vehicles are designed to separate standards to assure safety and performance in their intended operating environments. Golf cars are designed to transport golfers and equipment around closed courses. They generally lack safety features for use on public roads or closed-community use. PTV standards require features like headlights, stop lamps, horns and mirrors, which increase vehicle and user safety when operating on designated roadways,” says Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI. “Golf cars and PTVs are not toys. Read the owner’s manual to understand the vehicle’s features and operation. Don’t drink and drive. Obey manufacturer recommendations for operating age and designated number of passengers. Follow the rules of the road, and only drive PTVs where specifically permitted by law.”
Whether getting around the golf course, or cruising your community, operate these vehicles safely, understand their unique driving dynamics and obey all applicable laws for their use.
OPEI reminds users of these important safety tips when they get behind the wheel of golf cars and PTVs:
- Familiarize yourself with operating procedures. Review your owner’s manual and always follow manufacturer’s operating instructions. Remember to use all safety equipment that is installed on the vehicle.
- Load the vehicle correctly. Obey the manufacturer’s warnings for maximum number of occupants. Do not try to squeeze in extra passengers or allow anyone to ride standing in the vehicle or on the back platform, including caddies. Do not operate the vehicle until all occupants are fully seated.
- Drive safely and obey all local laws. Reduce speed and increase caution when operating vehicles on grades, slippery or loose terrain and when turning. Careless operation in these conditions may cause vehicles to lose traction and adversely affect operator control. Only operate vehicles on designated roadways or property where permitted by law, or the applicable regulatory authority.
- Avoid distractions. Be attentive to traffic and hazards while driving, and don’t text and drive.
- Stay sober and alert. Do not drive a golf car or PTV if intoxicated or under the influence of a drug or narcotic.
- Take shelter during inclement weather. Although a golf car may shield players from the rain, it may not protect from a lightning strike. Find safe shelter immediately if you see lightning or hear thunder.