Background: Golf carts today are used in a variety of public and private settings. Injuries related to golf carts are an important and increasing problem for people of all ages. This study analyzes trends and potential causes of nonfatal golf cart-related injury on a national level.
Methods: The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database was used to examine all cases of nonfatal golf cart-related injury treated in U.S. emergency departments (EDs) from 1990 to 2006. Analysis was conducted in 2007.
Results: An estimated 147,696 (95% CI=144,404; 150,987) injuries, involving individuals aged 2 months to 96 years, were treated in EDs in the U.S. for golf cart-related injuries during the study period. Injuries to children (aged<16) constituted 31.2% of the cases. The most common type of injury was soft tissue damage (47.7%). Patients required hospitalization in 7.8% of the cases. Falling from a golf cart was the most common cause of injury (38.3%). Of golf cart-related injuries with a reported location, 70.3% occurred at sports facilities, 15.2% occurred on streets or public property, and 14.5% occurred around a home or farm. The number of golf cart-related injuries increased steadily each year, with an increase of 132.3% over the 17-year study period.
Conclusions: Given the growing capabilities and popularity of golf carts, coupled with the marked increase in golf cart-related injuries observed over the study period (>130%), intensified efforts are needed to prevent these injuries, especially among children.