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164 Fun ride or risky transport: golf cart-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments from 2007 through 2017
  1. Rebecca McAdams,
  2. Kyle Horvath,
  3. Kristin Roberts,
  4. Motao Zhu,
  5. Lara McKenzie
  1. Center for Injury Research Policy at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital


Purpose Golf cart-related injuries are a source of morbitiy for people of all ages, especially children, and their use has increased in recent years. However, design modifications or legislation to reduce the overall burden of these injuries have been nonexistent. This study sought to characterize the epidemiology of golf cart-related injuries treated in United States (U.S.) hospital emergency departments (EDs).

Methods/Approach We performed a retrospective analysis by using the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data for patients of all ages treated in EDs (2007–2017) for a golf cart-related injury. Bivariate comparisons were conducted by using design-adjusted chi-square tests, and the strength of association was assessed by relative risks (RR) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Injury rates over time were analyzed by using linear regression. We generated national estimates from 3567 cases.

Results From 2007–2017, an estimated 156 040 (95% CI=102 402–209 679) patients were treated in U.S. EDs for golf cart-related injuries. The average rate of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in children (1.62 per 100 000 children) was more than three times that of TBIs in adults (0.52 per 100 000 adults; rate ratio=3.12; 95% CI=3.05–3.20) 1.46 times that of TBIs in seniors (1.11 per 100 000 seniors; 95% CI=1.42–1.51). The injury rate in seniors increased significantly by 67.6% from 4.81 per 100 000 seniors in 2007 to 8.06 per 100 000 seniors in 2017 (slope=0.096; p=0.041).

Conclusions Golf cart use remains an important source of injury for people of all ages, especially children. As use continues to increase, it is unlikely that golf cart-related injuries will decrease without substantial changes to product design, regulation, and/or legislation.

Significance and Contribution to the Field Understanding the patterns of golf cart-related injuries, especially to children and seniors, is critical as their use and injuries are increasing.

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