There is a growing number of communities, specifically in areas with high density for retiree population, that are using golf carts to drive around town. Considering how energy-efficient these carts are and cheaper to buy compared to regular cars, the golf cart communities are poised to grow even more significant in the next few years.
In states where there are lots of homes for seniors, you’ll see golf carts mixing with traffic on the street. Retirees go about their day-to-day errands—going to and fro doctor’s clinics and shopping centers. If you’re from California or Florida, then you’re probably used to golf carts popping in local roads by now.
What used to be a windowless automobile covering distances for golf ranges has changed drastically, becoming the new preferred transport for roaming seniors. But are they actually safe to drive around considering their bare exterior? Except for the standard seatbelt, there’s not much protection golf carts can offer should accidental collisions take place.
The idea of skeletally structured golf carts sharing the road with more substantial, meaner machines and better-equipped automobiles sounds like a recipe for imminent disaster. It’s almost as risky as riding a bicycle next to a dump truck—the danger of getting swiveled by the bigger vehicle is ever present in every second.
Some states allow golf carts on roads. More than a dozen have passed laws authorizing local governments to enable but regulate them on public streets. Most of them would prohibit golf carts from being driven at night. Some allow access to roads with slower speed limits or even require golf cart drivers to have a license.
Check out some of the states below that allow golf carts on streets and find out why people are loving them more or are even better off with them:
Popular Towns for Golf Carts
California, Louisiana, Nebraska, and South Carolina have regulations on driving golf carts around town. A few cities in Minnesota and Illinois allow access to a limited number of local streets.
The International Light Transportation Vehicle Association, a trade group representing golf cart manufacturers, has confirmed that “more than 350 cities have passed on laws allowing golf carts on their roads.” In addition, “most states restrict them to roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less.”
Golf carts can run at a speed of 25 mph minimum. Standards like seat belts, windshields, mirrors, and turn signals are all part of the golf cart package. Also, the usage of golf carts has evolved over the years.
Though state laws vary on golf cart ruling, whether they’re gas powered or electric, what matters most are the benefits they provide. They’re simple to maintain, less costly, and environment-friendly. While golf carts have long been a standard fixture on golf ranges, even on some college campuses, they also function as quick transport for short trips and a whole lot of fun stuff you may not know about.
Why People Love Golf Carts
The popularity of driving around golf carts grew when gas prices started going up. It has gained even more momentum because of increasing environmental awareness.
Though a regular SUV can weigh and has four or five times more power than a golf cart, which raises a lot of eyebrows when it comes to safety, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it.
More and more residents are on golf carts to get around the neighborhood and on some public roads. Most of them are seniors, especially those that are in California.
A new golf cart costs $8,000 to $11,000 a pop. Secondhand ones run from $3,500 to $7,000. They’re more than three-wheeled carriages to get around your eighteen-hole course. They have practical uses outside the greens as well.
Golf cart owners are willing to spend even more on upgrades and additional customization. They soup up their carts by adjusting engine capacity. This allows them to go faster and cover more ground in shorter periods.
Some would say that it makes no sense to buy a golf cart if you’re not an avid golfer. With the right tires and adjustments here and there, it can take you to off-the-beaten-path adventures. With vast storage spaces at the back, you can pack fishing or camping gear and go on solo or small group explorations near the area. During summer, you can go on a relaxing cruise with the wind on your face and have the time of your life on the open road ahead.
There so many things you can do with a golf cart far beyond the extent of the puts, even more so than a standard car. Safety-wise, cars are always your best bet, but if you want to surrender to the outdoor spirit once in a while and just revel in the feeling of openness and indulge in a little devil-may-care mind-set, then the golf cart is the perfect choice.