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Forensic Engineering Experts: Golf Carts

By: Dr. Irving Ojalvo

Tel: (800) 358-9909
Fax: (888) 358-9901
Email: Dr. Ojalvo

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There are roughly 9,000 golf cart related accidents requiring emergency room treatment in the United States each year. The majority of these accidents are related to either braking, cart rollover or passenger ejection. These problems are common to golf carts due to their open design, lack of seatbelts, poor braking capabilities and the uneven terrains they are driven on. Although industry standards prohibit golf carts from exceeding a maximum speed of 15 mph, rollovers and ejections still occur due to sharp turns, steep inclines, mechanical failures and driver error. In addition, most golf carts are equipped with mechanical rear brakes only, significantly limiting their stopping ability.

Expertise

Questions Answered

We have extensive experience in many aspects of golf cart accidents including:
  • Rollover stability
  • Braking and brake failure analysis
  • Occupant ejection issues including grab bars and warnings
  • ANSI standard testing

Case Examples

Passenger Ejection:
Two men were riding through a paved golf course parking lot when the driver made a sudden left turn and the passenger was ejected from the vehicle, sustaining severe head injuries. We demonstrated that when the cart was turned as sharply as possible at its maximum speed, the g side forces were sufficient to eject the passenger. We also faulted the manufacturer for failing to provide readily accessible hand-holds and warning labels as required in the ANSI golf cart standard.


Dr. Irving Ojalvo is Chairman of Technology Associates (www.technology-assoc.com), a forensic engineering firm with offices in New York City and Connecticut. The firm's technical personnel, all of whom have advanced degrees, perform accident reconstruction involving issues of biomechanics, mechanical, traffic, and human factors engineering.

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