Six-year-old Driving Golf Cart Unsafe at Any Speed

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DEAR ABBY: My son and daughter-in-law have a golf cart they allow their 6-year-old daughter, "Madison," to drive. I feel that she is too little to control the vehicle. She can barely see above the steering wheel.

This is way too large and powerful a vehicle for the little girl. There is a warning on the dashboard stating that a rollover could cause severe injury or death.

It tears me up that this is allowed, when I imagine the potential risk that the parents are courting. They assure me that they have taught Madison how to operate the vehicle safely, but I feel a 6-year-old is not capable or skilled enough to handle an unexpected driving situation.

My son and daughter-in-law are excellent and caring parents in every other way. However, on this issue they are in denial about the potential hazards, coupled with the reality of age-appropriate challenges.

When I speak up, I am met with rolled eyes and a curt reminder to mind my own business. Even my husband refuses to listen. I feel isolated in this situation. My husband offered no support when I expressed my concern and told me to stay out of it. I just want to avoid a potential tragedy without being "the meddling mother-in-law." Am I overreacting? -- SERIOUSLY WORRIED IN FLORIDA

DEAR SERIOUSLY WORRIED: You do not appear to be a "Nervous Nellie" to me. I don't know the law in Florida, but in my opinion this could be considered child endangerment. Your granddaughter may be the most well-coordinated child in the world, but accidents do happen, and golf carts should not be confused with go-carts, which are meant for children.

Because you cannot get your son's and husband's attention any other way, place a call to your insurance agent, asking about the potential liability should your grandchild collide with another vehicle -- or, God forbid, a human being -- while operating the golf cart. The financial liabilities could be considerable, putting aside the possible injury to your granddaughter or others. It could be the wake-up call they need.