Florida is associated with many things: sunshine, white sandy beaches, alligators, retirement life, and, of course, golf carts.

While many residents and visitors are avid golfers, and many casual amateurs take up an afternoon on a lush, rolling course, golf carts live a different kind of life in Florida.

In fact, spend any day outside during any time of the year, and you’ll see someone on a golf cart. It’s a fun addition to beach house or vacation property. It’s a favorite for those with a little pocket money to burn and a childhood wish to fulfill.

You can even spot some questionably young drivers passing you in the neighborhood, maxing out at maybe 25-35 miles per hour. Some people don’t bat an eye at a gaggle of youngsters cruising the neighborhood roads on the family golf cart. Others wonder, “Where on Earth are your parents?”

It can be easy to forget that a golf cart is not a car, just as low-speed vehicles are not cars. But there are important legal and safety matters to consider before taking your golf cart (whether you own it or rented it) out for a joy-ride.