Reed Saxon/AP
A man in Southern California fills a golf
cart with gas.

Golf Carts Going Off Course to Save on Gas

July 22, 2008 08:01 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
With gas topping $4 per gallon, drivers across the United States are turning their golf carts into all-purpose vehicles.

30-Second Summary

Richard Fisher, an 82-year-old resident of Summitville, Ind., uses his golf cart to meet friends and family and go grocery shopping.

I’m saving money and wear and tear on my car,” Fisher said. His cart is “tricked out with seat belts, a boombox, flashing hazard lights and wheel-rim spinners,” according to a report in USA Today.

Summitville is just one of a number of U.S. cities that are starting to allow golf carts on public streets. The carts, because of their comparative fuel efficiency, low emissions and quiet operation, are especially popular in small towns.

“The idea has taken hold in rural towns from Indiana to North Carolina. It has even reached Chicago’s densely populated northern suburbs, where Wheeling is considering a similar move solely for the fuel-saving benefits,” reports the Chicago Tribune.

But some are warning that injuries, accidents and even deaths associated with golf carts are skyrocketing, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Between 1990 and 2006, golf-cart-related injuries rose more than 132 percent, with more than 147,000 people suffering injuries in golf-cart accidents during those 17 years, according to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Golf carts are just one of several energy-saving trends that have spread in recent months. Do-it-yourself fuel enthusiasts are brewing their own ethanol using home kits, while “hypermilers” are changing their driving style to increase fuel economy. Others are taking the old-fashioned route and simply making more use of mass transportation.

Headline Links: ‘More Golf Carts Leaving Greens’

Related Topics: Golf carts and safety, other effects of the energy crisis

Call for regulation, rise in accidents and injuries, golf-cart bandits
Do-it-yourself fuel, hypermilers, increased mass transit use

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