OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: The use of electric golf carts for roadway transportation is increasing in many regions of the United States, but injuries associated with the operation of these vehicles have not been previously described. In response to reports of golf cart related injuries in a North Carolina island community, we reviewed ambulance call report (ACR) information to identify and describe all injuries related to golf cart operation in this community in 1992-4. We also conducted telephone interviews with the subset of injured people who consented to be contacted. SETTING: Bald Head Island, North Carolina. RESULTS: Twenty two people were included in the case series, and 55% of these provided interview information to supplement ACR data. Fifty nine per cent of the 22 injured people were injured when they fell from a moving golf cart; of those injured in this manner, all with available information on seating position were passengers (rather than drivers). Eighty six per cent received immediate medical treatment at a mainland hospital. Thirty two per cent of injury incidents occurred among children aged 10 or younger. Forty per cent of injured adults were known to have been drinking alcohol before their injuries occurred, while alcohol was not known to have been involved in any of the children's injuries (in terms of drinking either by children or by accompanying adults). CONCLUSIONS: In settings where golf carts are used for road transportation, their users and traffic safety officials should be aware of potential safety hazards associated with the use of these vehicles, and installation of appropriate occupant restraints should be considered seriously.
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