Accidents happen, no matter how careful we are, so you should know some essential go-kart safety tips.
The first thing to know is that crashing does not have to be your fault. Others can cause it too.
The best thing to do in case of an accident is to be prepared and be protected the best way you can. Knowing what causes go-karting accidents and how to prevent them is your best protection against the disaster.
Here is a list of 11 Go-Kart safety tips everyone should grasp before going racing.
11 Go-Kart Safety Tips that Prevent Injuries
1. Wear a Helmet
No kart safety tips list should be without a helmet. You should not be allowed to race unless you have a mask on, period. The quickest way to get gravely injured, or even die, is to hit your head on a hard surface.
Twelve percent of all injuries in Go Karting is head or neck injuries. Majority of the people involved in those accidents survive, and only because they were wearing a helmet.
If you are looking for a reliable and inexpensive racing helmet, look no further than ILM Full Face Helmet.
For more advanced drivers who are looking for added protection, Conquer Snell SA2015 is an attractive choice.
2. Use Neck Brace
A neck brace, in my opinion, is in second place when it comes to safety gear — first being the helmet. So pick a good one for yourself, don’t be modest here.
Neck brace protects your neck in case of a rollover, or against snapping back during the collision. Roiling over is the worst thing that can happen to you in a go-kart, so make sure you protect yourself.
Protect your head and neck the best way you can; everything else can take a more significant blow.
Here is a detailed review of best karting neck braces for your convenience.
3. Wear a Tracksuit
Tracksuit should fit your body type perfectly without any loose ends. A large tracksuit can get caught under your tire, pulling you out of your seat and under the kart.
Another reason to have a tracksuit is in case of fire. Collision with a wall can cause your fuel tank to burst and can ignite a fire if the fuel touches a hot engine or a muffler. Wearing a tracksuit may prevent you from getting burnt or even save your life.
If you are a recreational driver, the tracksuit provided by your local F1 racing track should be enough. Those carts are not fast enough to cause severe damage, mostly.
For drivers who do not like to wear clothes that others have worn, there are many different choices in different price ranges.
K1 Race Gear Triumph 2 tracksuit is on a more affordable side. It offers ample protection for most drivers, while Alpinestars 3356015-155-60 KMX-9 is for those people with deeper pockets who are seeking more comfort and security.
4. Tuck in Your Long Hair
Long hair is beautiful, but like the track suite above, you don’t want your long hair to get caught under your wheels or anywhere else. Tie your long hair and tuck it inside the helmet. If you have to use do-rag. Do-rag is comfortable, inexpensive, and keeps your hair safe and in place.
5. Wear a Seat Belt
You should always use a seatbelt if it’s possible. Go-Karts, just like regular cars, have seat belts, so make sure you utilize them every time. It would be most beneficial to have seat belts that go over both shoulders and not just one.
Seat belts are inexpensive, but that should not be your primary concern. Their quality of seat belts should be more critical.
I’ve had several different ones in the past. Currently, I am using Tanaka Black Series Latch and have nothing to say but good things about it.
Pro drivers do not wear seat belts because accidents are more common during the professional race. The belief is that if you go flying in the kart, it’s better to separate yourself from it.
I agree with that theory, but only for pro races. If you are reading this article, you are probably not a pro racer, so use the seat belt.
6. Protect Your Midsection
The midsection is a part of a body that absorbs the majority of impact when in a collision. For this, you can use rib protectors.
Even though the rib protector is not the most comfortable piece of equipment, it is vital to have a midsection area protected while racing.
If you are going to your local F1 to have fun with your friends, a rib protector is not needed, but for professional racing, you need one.
For a lighter, less intrusive rip protector, you should go with K1 Race Gear Karting Pro-Lite Rib Protector Vest. It is very comfortable and good enough for those who are just starting.
For more advanced, more reliable rib protectors, Alpinestars Bionic Rib Protector should do the job.
7. Check Equipment
Sometimes collisions are not your fault but somewhat faulty equipment. Make sure that every time you go out on the track, your kart is 100% ready to go. Bad tires, faulty engines, and bad breaks can cause severe issues, so check them before you race.
If you are not a handy person and need some help with checking your kart, ask someone who works at the track. They know what to do, whom to ask, and can even help you with other issues you might encounter.
Some things are easy to do and only take a little bit of time to learn. One of those is replacing brake pads on your go-kart.
8. Protect Spinning Shafts and Tires
Anything that rotates can be a hazard. Any exposed spinning shafts, chains, belts, axles, clutches can catch a part of you and cause an injury. Cover those areas with protective equipment.
Also, protect your tires with bumpers if you can. You should do everything you can to protect yourself from other drivers. If someone’s kart flips in the air due to a collision, they can easily land on top of you. Tire bumpers may prevent this from happening.
9. Install Roll Cage
If you are an off-road racer where flipping is frequent, having a roll cage is critical. The roll cage adds weight to your kart for sure, but it may prevent serious injury from happening, so use it.
Roll cage might be particularily helpful if you are a pregnant female. Racing go-karts while pregnant can only be safe if you use proper protections, and having a roll cage is definitelly the best way.
10. Adult Supervision
This next item on the go-kart safety list is not equipment based, but it is as essential as any other item on this list.
The dilemma that many kids have is not understanding the danger and consequence of their actions. Nowhere is that clearer than racing track.
Having the right adult supervision is critical. You should always remind your kids of the danger of racing and should put them through racing school if possible. They need to know the risks of racing before experiencing it on their skin.
If you have to, make them read these 11 Go-Kart racing tips, it would be a good start.
11. Respect the Kart and the Track
This last item on the go-kart safety list might be the most import one even though it sounds kind of silly? How can you respect something that is not alive and has no feelings?
Many people forget to give respect to their car and the track that it is racing on. That is a mistake. Never underestimate anything that is not in your control 100% of the time.
I know that many of us think that we know everything, but that is not true.
You have to recognize that even the slightest mistake can have catastrophic consequences to you or those around you.
Go-kart is a missile that can go over 100mph. It is fueled by gas that is only inches away from a hot muffler. It can injure, it can kill, it can do much damage in a split second.
Respect it, but don’t fear it. And use it with caution.
Go-Kart Safety Conclusion
So there you have it, folks, those are my 11 Go-Kart Safety Tips. I hope you have enjoyed this short but essential article. And I hope it makes you think next time you go out to a racing track.