An 83-year-old man was killed in an accident outside of Ft. Myers when the golf cart he was driving collided with a pickup truck, police say. His wife later died from injuries also sustained in the crash.
The man, Joseph Heller was reportedly driving his golf cart in the wrong direction in Estero when he was hit by a driver in a Ford F-150. It’s not clear whether Heller was wearing a seatbelt at the time, but police say he was thrown from the vehicle in the collision.
Betty Heller, who was a passenger in the golf cart, was also injured after being trapped under the cart and the truck, according to the News-Press. She died in the hospital more than one month later.
The pickup truck driver told local police that he’d been districted after dropping a cigarette while driving, according to the Associated Press. It’s not clear whether he was charged for his role in the collision.
Florida Golf Cart Safety
The Ft. Myers accident is another tragic reminder of the safety hazards that can come with getting behind the wheel of a golf cart. Accidents can and do happen. That’s especially true in retirement communities like The Villages, where golf carts are a common—and even preferred—mode of transportation for many residents.
No one can completely eliminate the risk of an accident, but there are a number of steps that golf cart drivers can take to enhance their safety. That starts with wearing a seatbelt. Although some golf carts may not be equipped with safety belts, this important safety protection can be added to a cart at little cost.
The primary benefit of a seatbelt is that it prevents a person from being ejected from a golf cart during a collision. In many accidents, injuries occur when people are thrown to the ground after the initial collision. That’s often the case in low-speed crashes.
Golf cart drivers should also avoid sharp turns at top speeds. That’s because those moves can cause the cart to buckle and topple over. Clearly signaling turns is also a critical part of safe driving. When making a left turn, a driver should signal, yield to other traffic, and merge by using a turn lane, when available.
Golf cart drivers are required to stay off of any roads where the posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or higher.
How a Villages Golf Cart Accident Attorney Can Help You
If you or a loved one has been injured in a golf cart accident, you have the right to seek compensation from those responsible for the crash. A Villages golf cart accident attorney can help you consider your legal rights and options while you focus on your physical recuperation.
Villages golf cart accident attorney Tim Babiarz has been representing people involved in collisions for more than two decades. Our office is conveniently located in The Villages. Our firm is proud to fight for clients in Ocala, Leesburg, Lady Lake, Wildwood, Summerfield and beyond. Call (352) 205-7599 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.