Cover Story

Golf Cart Rollovers

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), there are approximately 15,000 golf cart related injuries requiring emergency room treatment in the US each year. Some 10% of these accidents involve a rollover.
Golf carts are typically designed with brakes only on the rear axle. As our engineers have addressed in several peer-reviewed journal papers, this can result in the vehicle becoming unstable. A golf cart rollover often occurs as a result of a driver losing control of the car while traveling downhill on a car path. One potential source of a downhill loss of control is the current industry practice of manufacturing golf carts with brakes on only the rear axle wheels. It has long been understood that a braked vehicle with skidding rear tires and rolling front tires is directionally unstable but this instability will not always manifest itself when a vehicle is traveling at sufficiently low speeds on level ground.
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