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How to Stop a Runaway Cart (From Worst Golf Case Scenario)
If You Are in the Cart
1. Attempt to shut off the cart. If the cart is electric, turn the ignition key to the ?off? position. If the cart is gas powered, do not turn the key to the ?off? position, leave it in gear.
2. Try to engage the service brake. The service, or hill, brake is located on the top half of the brake pedal. Push it forward until it sticks. If it engages, the cart should stop quickly.
3. If the service brake fails, wait for the automatic emergency system to stop the cart. If you are still moving, there has been a brake failure. Most late-model electric cars also have ?downhill braking? an automatic emergency system that is designed to stop the car in the event of downhill acceleration. This emergency brake should now engage. Gas carts do not use downhill braking: They have compression braking, which uses the engine to stop the cart experiencing uncontrolled acceleration. This emergency system should also activate automatically.
4. If the cart does not stop, attempt to ride it out. You should be able to steer a golf cart even with the key turned off. Stay in the cart and steer onto a gentle incline, which will slow or stop the cart. Do not jerk the wheel or make any sharp turns. If the cart is accelerating downhill or into unsafe terrain and you cannot slow it down, prepare to exit.
5. Jump out of the cart. Do not try to land on your feet. Leap out and away from the path of the cart, rolling on your side until you are at a safe distance. Protect your head with your arms and aim for grass or other forgiving terrain.
If You Are Not in the Cart
1. Evaluate the situation. If an empty cart is accelerating downhill and you are far behind it, you may not be able to reach it. If the cart is headed uphill or into scrub brush rather than a water hazard, and there are no people in front of the cart, it may slow down on its own. If the cart is headed toward people, a green, or another area where it may cause damage, you may be able to intercept it.
2. Chase the cart and match its speed. Unless the cart is traveling in a straight line downhill from your position, run at an angle that will allow you to catch up with it.
3. Grab the roof or a roof support. If the cart is a model without a roof, grab the back of the seat. Do not reach for the wheel before you are in the cart or you risk turning the cart into your path and running yourself over.
4. Swing your body into the cart. Do not dive into the cart head first. Pull yourself aboard using your arms. Swing your legs in first.
5. Turn the steering wheel gently to obtain control. Do not jerk it.
6. Steer the cart up a rise or into a sand trap. The sand should slow it down and eventually stop it.
* The industry maximum speed for both electric and gas golf carts is about 14 miles per hour. (Special vehicles can reach speeds of 18 mph.) A runaway golf cart is usually only traveling with momentum, not with electric or gas power, and should not be traveling at more than a few miles per hour, unless it is going down a hill.
* Always set the hill brake when you leave the cart, whether or not you have stopped on a hill.