As a go-kart driver or a parent of a young driver, you should always be concerned about safety. Due to high speed, inadequate protection, and inexperience, injuries sometimes occur.
To prevent go-kart accidents, you should always have a safety-first mentality and follow personal karting safety tips.
What Causes Go-Kart Accidents?
The leading causes of go-karts accidents are high speeds, narrow race track, and an inexperienced driver. Also, weather can be a cause if the race is taking place outside.
1. High Speed
High speeds, like in any other racing, limits your reaction time. It is easy to make the slightest mistake and not have enough time to react and correct it.
2. Size and Shape of the Track
Consequently, the narrow track is the cause of many accidents. A narrow track does not allow many passing opportunities, so to pass someone, you must take a shot during those opportunities.
Lack of opportunities pressure on a driver who is trying to pass a kart in front of them. And in many instances, mistakes happen, which leads to accidents.
3. Inexperienced Driver
Inexperience, in any field, can be a cause for concern, but in racing, that can be a critical issue. It would help if you were not racing in a higher class unless you have enough experience in the lower class. You need to know what you are doing to prevent accidents from occurring.
4. Parts and Equipment
A faulty kart can be a severe problem, so it is essential to check your kart before each race.
What I always like to check for are any leaks, especially oil leak related, and tires. Oil on the track can spin you out quickly and easily, especially if you have bad, worn-out tires.
5. Weather Conditions
Ald lastly, we have the weather conditions.
I am, of course, referring here to rain and wet track. Wet course, bad tires, and high speeds are very likely to cause accidents during the race. Caution is always a must in these conditions. Consider lower speed through corners or suspending the race entirely.
Go-karting in wet weather is a science; if you learn to do it right, you will have a great advantage over other racers.
What Causes Go-Karts to Flip Over
Flipping over in a go-kart is the worst thing that can happen during the race.
There are two situations where flipping occurs.
The number one scenario is running into a go-kart in front of you where the area of their go-kart is low enough for your kart to jump onto. This is typically the front of a go-kart. The flipping happens if the kart in front of you spins out on the track, and you run over their front bumper.
Kiss of Death aka Tire Touch
The second scenario happens when your tire touches the back of the tire of the kart in front of you. Or next to you, for that matter.
This is simple physics where two opposite moving forces collide. Your tire, which moves forward and down, meets a tire moving forward and up.
Because your tire is pushing the other tire down, it creates downforce on the other tire, and at the same time, it has no other way to go but up on top of it.
At high speeds, this is going to cause your go-kart to fly up in the air. Depending on the pace you are going, it can cause your cart to flip as well.
Here is some more information on go-karts flipping over.
How to Prevent Go-Kart Accidents From Occurring
1. Follow the Tail, Not the Tire
If you are trailing a kart in front of you, be right behind it and not over on either side. This is important if the kart in front of you hits the breaks too early, and you don’t have enough time to react. This way, the collision will be bumper to bumper and not tire to tire.
Bumper-to-bumper collision is typically not going to cause injuries, just discomfort.
2. Exercise the Right Judgement
Nothing will get you in trouble quicker than yourself. Exercise the right judgment. Do not overtake the kart in front of you unless you are 100% sure that you will be successful.
Trying to squeeze your go-kart on the inside corner is a terrible idea if you don’t have enough space. You might cause a collision and spin out, or you might hit their tire and jump up in the air, potentially flipping over.
Do not let emotions take over common sense, be systematic in your approach, and do the right thing every time.
3. Know the Track
Know the track before you race. Take a few laps to familiarize yourself with the track. Not knowing the track can cause you to go full speed in a sharp corner, not meant for that type of speed. And hitting the barrier hard can cause a serious accident.
What Should you do in Case of Go-Kart Accident
1. Don’t Panic
Easier said than done in some situations but try to stay calm. Some people are good at this, some are not, but neither will benefit from panicking. Panicking is the worst thing you can do.
If you have to, take a deep breath, hold it in for a second, exhale, and relax. Then move to the next step.
2. Check Yourself for Injuries
Worry about yourself first. Make sure you are ok before you do anything else. It sounds selfish, but you should not do anything before you are aware of your condition.
3. Check Other’s Involved
After you are positive that you are ok and have not sustained any severe injuries, look at the other people involved in the crash. See if they need immediate help. If they do, call for help right away.
4. Stay in Kart and Move to Safe Location
Stay in your go-kart until you are 100% sure that exiting the kart is safe. Look for a good and safe spot you can move your kart to if it’s still running.
If the kart is not running, look around and exit the cart when safe. Do not rush to exit; you can cause more harm than good that way.
5. Wait for Help
The last step is to wait for help to arrive. The go-karting track is small, so support should be coming quickly. Try to explain what happened as clearly as possible and point out any pain or discomfort you feel.
Go-kart accidents are common when racing, and some can be serious.
The best way to prevent that from happening is to know the leading causes of go-kart accidents. Knowing where the danger lies will put you in the driver’s seat of your racing success.