Go Kart Driving – What is the Risk?

Kart racing, outdoor go karts, go kart safety
Kart Safety

Kart racing, outdoor go karts, go kart safetyOk, let’s face it, Go Karts can be dangerous. They are moving vehicles which if mishandled, can slam into things, like trees, cars, people and garage doors. They also can flip over and skid along with the occupant underneath. (Been there, done that!). Go kart engines are hot. Wheels and axles are spinning. Chains can catch fingers and clothing. There are all sorts of hazards to a go kart.

There are also hazards to chain saws and weed wackers too. You can cut off a leg or lose a toe, if you are not careful. The key word here is “careful.” Proper driving techniques are key to safe driving. What steps are you going to take to ensure a more ‘careful’ approach to karting? For starters I would recommend that everyone undertakes a training program. All kids should be taught how to ride safely, smartly and cautiously. This machine can potentially be a weapon if used recklessly. People outside the go kart are in as much danger, if not more danger than the rider, so be aware of your surroundings as well as what’s happening inside your go kart.

Safety also includes safety equipment like pads, suits, helmets, shoes and gloves.  I would suggest always wearing protective clothing all times when riding a go kart. An accident is just waiting to happen, especially when you are least expecting it. All it takes is a blown tire, or a false swerve and over she goes.

Seat belts certainly protect you in a car, but in go karts they may or may not apply. Specifically racing go karts do not have seat belts because the object of the belt is defeated in the racing style go kart. The occupant is better off breaking free of the go kart than sticking with it. Obviously, however, proper full body safety protection is required. This can be an extensive investment. Seat belts, however, are required in full frame gokarts, (go karts with a cage over the occupant and go kart), because if the gokart were to roll, and the occupant did not have a seat belt, they would get tangled up in the framework and potentially get seriously hurt. The roll cage is just that, a cage, and not being belted in, the cage becomes the enemy.

In addition to a helmet, make sure that guards and shields are considered as part of the safety protocol. Also ensure that your hair is tied back or safely stowed away in your helmet as you don’t want it to be in danger of getting snagged by moving axles on go karts. The same goes for your clothing, never wear anything that has dangling parts. The axles should also be shielded to prevent entanglement.

During kart racing, accidents can never be entirely eliminated, but you can certainly minimize the chances and the risks of an accident by wearing the right protective gear and don’t forget that safety involves an attitude about driving, reckless driving is dangerous driving.