A golf cart is a vehicle designed for toting golf clubs and players on golf courses. However, many people in Arizona use them as a regular mode of transportation. They are fuel-efficient and the perfect size for many. Golf carts are popular in Arizona among seasonal residents who come to the state each winter. Maricopa County alone has more than 30,000 registered golf carts. Before you take your golf cart out on the town, our Phoenix personal injury lawyers share the state’s golf cart laws to keep yourself and others safe.
What Is a Golf Cart?
The official definition of a golf cart under Arizona law is a vehicle with at least three wheels on the ground, a weight of less than 1,800 pounds and a top speed of 25 miles per hour. Golf carts cannot carry more than four people at a time, including the driver. Golf carts are not the same as mopeds or all-terrain vehicles. They are their own class of vehicle with unique laws and regulations in Arizona.
Golf Cart Rights to the Road
In Arizona, golf carts are the same as motor vehicles, with most of the same rights to public roads. Golf cart owners must register their vehicles and carry liability insurance as they would for other cars. The minimum amounts of insurance for all vehicles in Arizona are $10,000 for property repairs, $15,000 per person in bodily injury insurance and $30,000 per accident. Drivers also need licenses and endorsements to operate golf carts on public roads.
Unlike typical passenger vehicles, golf carts may only ride on public roads with speed limits at or below 35 miles per hour. This law comes from the federal government, which places a maximum speed on all golf carts. Most golf carts have maximum speeds of 25 miles per hour or less. A street-legal golf cart in Arizona must have working brakes, headlights, taillights and horns. They do not need windshields, as they are an exception to the state’s windshield law.
It is illegal to drive a golf cart on a sidewalk in Arizona. Drivers may only use them on golf courses, on private properties with permission or public roads. Golf cart drivers must obey all the same traffic laws as other motorists, including traffic lights, stop signs and rights-of-way. Drivers may only use golf carts on the sides of public roads in age-restricted communities or unincorporated areas of counties with less than three million people. It is against the law to operate a golf cart while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Anything that could get you in trouble in a typical motor vehicle will most likely lead to trouble behind the wheel of a golf cart.
Golf Cart Safety Tips
Using a golf cart instead of a full-size vehicle can be convenient and save you money on gas. If you choose this type of vehicle, however, you could be at risk of serious injuries in a traffic accident. Golf cart accidents can lead to passenger ejections or vehicle rollovers. It is extremely important to follow roadway rules and operate your vehicle safely as a golf cart driver. Otherwise, you could end up in a catastrophic accident.
- Make sure your golf cart has all the required parts and equipment before driving.
- Get the required license and endorsement before you drive.
- Never pile more than four people into the golf cart at once.
- Wear your seat belt at all times.
- Maintain a safe speed and signal your intent to turn.
- Keep a safe distance between the golf cart and other vehicles.
- Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and vehicles, when applicable.
If you get into a golf cart accident in Arizona, seek medical treatment right away. Follow a doctor’s instructions for treatment and recovery. Gather information about your accident, such as where it happened and the names of others involved. Take photographs of the scene of the crash if you can. Before you contact an insurance company to file a claim in Arizona, speak to a lawyer for advice. An experienced Phoenix car accident lawyer can help you negotiate with insurance adjusters and help secure your fair compensation.