How to Drive a Golf Cart
The golf cart became a widespread vehicle for golf courses in the 1950s. Since their development and popularity within the golfing community, they’ve branched out to be used by a variety of events and organizations. While the golf cart is a simple vehicle to operate, it must be used in consideration for the safety of others.
Driving a Golf Cart
Understand golf carts.Golf carts are classified under Neighborhood Electric Vehicles. Despite the vehicle's name, golf carts are used off golf courses for a variety of reasons. Golf carts fall between 15-35 mph top speed by regulation standards. You must be 14 years of age or older to drive a golf cart.
- You don’t need a license to drive a golf cart.
- Depending on what state or county you live in, you may need a permit to operate a golf cart.
- Most state's allow an unlicensed driver to drive on private roads, but not on main roads for long distances. It's okay to cross an intersection of a main road.
- You'll need a license to drive on public roads.
Use the key.Like the golf cart’s older cousin, the automobile, you will need a key to start it. Insert the key in the key slot and turn it to the right. You probably won’t hear a loud startup like you would for a car. Most golf carts run on electricity and the key merely turns the battery on.
- You may also see a reverse setting, but set the key to forward motion.
- Some golf carts run on gasoline and electricity. These carts will start up with a familiar engine sound.
Put your seat belt on.Although the golf carts do not run too fast, it’s still a good idea to buckle up. Some carts won’t exceed 14 mph and therefore don’t have seat belts. Be sure that any young children riding with you know to remain seated.
Accelerate.Once everyone is seated, you’re ready to accelerate in the golf cart. Use your foot to press down on the thin, right pedal.The pedal is sensitive to the amount of pressure you use. Start with mild pressure using your foot to get a feeling for the handle of the golf cart. Once you understand how the cart operates, add more pressure to the pedal.
- Do not floor the acceleration pedal upon startup. Increase the pressure and speed with your foot on the pedal gradually.
Use the brake.Take your foot off the acceleration pedal and press it on the wider pedal.This is the same setup for automobiles with the left pedal, usually the widest pedal, activates the vehicle's brakes. Don’t slam on the brake unless you absolutely have to.
- For normal use, ease onto the break much like you use the acceleration pedal.
Drive backwards.To go backwards, pull or turn the switch on your cart and use the acceleration pedal. Most golf carts will not go as fast using the backwards setting. Turn your body by putting your right arm around the back of the passenger seat. This position will allow you to see everything behind you.
Improving Your Driving
Drive at night.It is important to take extra precautions when driving at night. Before driving at night, make sure your golf cart is equipped with headlights, brake lights, turn signals and reflective devices.If you don’t have these safety measures on your vehicle, reconsider driving at night or consider investing into your cart.
Understand the rules of the road.Golf carts are not allowed on any road with a posted speed that exceeds 35 mph. This is for the safety of the golf cart and the other cars on the road. Aside from safety measures, golf carts can cause unexpected traffic which could lead to aggravated drivers. Over half the states don't allow golf carts on public roads.
- For safety measures, golf carts cannot be on roads above 35 mph. Your golf cart needs to be able to go 25 mph to access public roads.
- These are the current list of states that allow golf carts on public roads: CA, NV, AZ, NM, CO, WY, IL, MN, IA, FL, GA and TX.
Use the horn.The horn is another practical safety measure. It is especially efficient used at intersections. While the horn isn’t encouraged on the golf course, it is great for off the course. This can help pedestrians and other golfers to watch out for your cart.
- Try not to use the horn with malice towards another player.
Slow down when turning.Just like with automobiles, you need to slow down when turning your cart. Even turning at a speed of 11 mph can project a passenger from the golf cart. Golf carts don’t have doors and some don’t even have seatbelts. Keep your passengers and yourself safe by slowing down significantly before turning.
Consider insurance.There is never a guarantee you won’t injure someone if you own a golf cart. Many insurance agencies will offer a wide insurance plan that covers vehicles like segways, golf carts and snowmobiles. Insurance will help you pay for medical bills and damage to your vehicle.
QuestionAt what age can I drive a golf cart?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWhile the operator of a golf cart does not have to be a licensed driver, the driver must be over 14 years or age. A LSV is defined as a four-wheel electric vehicle whose top speed is greater than 20 mph, but less than 25 mph. LSV may operate on the streets where the posted speed limit is 35 mph or less.Thanks!
How many nautical miles can a golf cart travel on a single tank of gas?
To drive a golf cart, insert the key into the ignition, turn the key to the right, and put your seat belt on if your cart has them. Once all of your passengers are seated, use your foot to press down on the right pedal to accelerate, using mild pressure until you get a feel for how the cart handles. Next, take your foot off the acceleration pedal and press down gently on the left pedal to bring the golf cart to a stop.
Video: How to Properly Drive A Golf Cart
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