Golf cart injuries often involve head trauma: study

Augusta, GA – More than two-thirds of patients seeking treatment for golf cart-related injuries at the level 1 trauma center at Georgia Health Sciences University suffered significant head injuries, indicates a study released July 8. These head injuries were defined by a loss of consciousness, hemorrhage or skull fracture.

Between 2000 and 2009, a total of 68 individuals were treated at the hospital for injuries associated with a golf cart, according to the study abstract. About 60 percent of the injuries occurred among children, with an average age of 9 years. Most state laws have no minimum age for driving golf carts.

Among individuals 16 and older, researchers found that alcohol was a contributing factor to the injury in 59 percent of the cases.

The study noted that golf carts are increasingly used in retirement communities, on college campuses and at sporting events. The carts lack doors and safety devices such as safety belts, mirrors and lights. The majority of patients in the study were injured when they were ejected from the cart or were involved in a rollover.

The study was published in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

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