On Tuesday, a car travelling on a road in the Key Peninsula slammed into a golf cart. The crash happened at approximately 4:15 pm on Wright Bliss Road KPN near 132nd Road KPN. The driver of the car then sped off, T-boning another vehicle just a few hundred feet away before fleeing the scene.
The cart’s driver was pronounced dead at the scene, and a passenger who had been riding in the cart was transported to Tacoma General Hospital with injuries. The driver of the vehicle that was T-boned was taken to St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor.
The at-fault driver hid in a house until deputies tracked him down and arrested him. Police have not yet said whether drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash. The driver will likely be charged with felony hit-and-run; he may also face charges of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.
Are Golf Carts Allowed On Washington State Roads?
In most cases, golf carts are intended to be operated far away from roads. However, in Washington state, there are some legal “golf cart zones” in which the carts are allowed on streets and highways. Certain factors have to apply in order to make golf carts street legal:
- The street or highway must have a speed limit of 25 miles per hour or less.
- Drivers can only operate golf carts on roads during the day.
- The golf cart zone must be marked with signs.
- The city or county that established the golf cart zone must keep track of collision data involving golf carts in that zone.
- The driver of the cart have must have completed a driver education course or have previous experience as a licensed driver. The driver must be at least 16 years old.
- In some cases, golf carts must be equipped with special safety items to make them street legal. This could include seat belts, reflectors, and rearview mirrors.
- A person with a revoked license cannot operate a golf cart on the road in a golf cart zone. This means that some people who can legally operate a golf cart on private property may not be allowed to drive one down the street.
- Within the golf cart zone, the city or county that established the zone may prevent golf carts from travelling in or blocking bike lanes.
Citizens who want a golf cart zone in their area can petition their local government for permission to create one. However, the local government can also take other safety issues into consideration—so don’t expect to see golf carts on I-5 anytime soon, no matter how many people ask to drive them on a busy highway.
Golf cart zones are most common in areas like Key Peninsula, where there are few high-speed roads. Many gas-powered golf carts can be driven for up to 150 miles per tank, and their small size makes them easy to store and take out for seasonal use.
What To Do After A Golf Cart Accident
Most people are familiar with the basic rules of how to file an insurance claim after a car accident. However, many don’t realize that it’s also possible to recoup money for damages after a golf cart crash in which you weren’t the at-fault driver.
If your golf cart accident happened on private land, it may be covered by homeowners’ insurance or business insurance. If you were injured because a car, truck, or other motor vehicle hit you on the road, you may be able to recover damages from that driver’s vehicle insurance.
Davis Law Group’s award-winning team of accident attorneys has recovered millions of dollars for injured victims and their loved ones. In collisions involving golf carts and other motor vehicles on public roads, Washington state law treats golf carts the same as any other legally operated car. If you have any questions about a golf cart crash, you can speak with our legal team at any time by using our convenient chat feature, visiting our contact form, or calling (206) 727-4000.