Drive slowly along a beach
Driving a golf cart or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) around your beach community might be a local tradition, but it’s one some out-of-towners might not be aware of, making it a dangerous pastime. To safely share the road with those who are bigger and faster than you, check out these safety tips.
1. Follow the law
Traffic laws apply to every vehicle on the road, including golf carts, cars and even bicycles. To stay safe, stop at all stop signs, use turn signals, manage your speed and watch for other drivers.
2. Don’t drink and drive
Drinking and driving don’t mix, even in golf carts. Since your golf cart is considered a motor vehicle, state and local DUI laws apply.
3. Drive like no one else can see you
When out in your golf cart, the law might consider you a legal, motorized vehicle, but don’t for an instant think other drivers share that sentiment. Assume everybody else on the road doesn’t see you or doesn’t care you have legal access to the same road. Drive defensively. Keep your eyes on other drivers.
4. Check your equipment
Make sure your safety equipment is working. Under most local ordinances, a golf cart must have certain items such as headlamps, tail lamps and turn signals to use public roads. Before heading out, especially near dusk and dawn, check them to make sure they work.
5. Fly your flag
Be sure to attach a flag to a 6-foot pole attached to the rear of your golf cart or buggy. A flag whipping in the wind as you drive will catch the attention of other drivers and alert them to your presence.
6. Stay where you belong
Stay off the sidewalks and hike-and-bike trails. Though you might think that hike-and-bike trail looks inviting and safe, as a motor vehicle, your golf cart doesn’t belong there.
7. Don’t be a traffic hazard
If you’re holding up traffic, pull off to the side and let the cars and trucks go by.
When on the road in your car or truck, you need to be mindful of others in the smaller, quieter and slower vehicles. Driving tips include:
1. Stay alert
While golf carts and NEVs legally share the road, they can be almost invisible, so look out for them. If you’re driving in an area frequented by visitors or beach-goers, really watch for golf carts, NEVs and bicycles.
2. Follow the rules of the road
Remember, golf carts and NEVs are motor vehicles, so treat them as such. In other words, if you pull up to a four-way stop sign across from a golf cart, treat it as if it were another passenger car or vehicle.
3. Drive like you’re invisible
Yes, this works for bigger vehicles as well. Expect that the golf cart driver isn’t looking out for you. In other words, if you come upon a golf cart traveling down the road and it looks as if the driver is headed straight, prepare for that driver to cut in front of you without a signal. It happens. Drive defensively.
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