Go Kart Safety: How am I going to drive it?
Lets face the music. Go Karts are dangerous. They are moving vehicles that 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 weedwackers too. You can cut off a leg or loose a toe, if you are not careful. The key here is “careful.”
What measures are you going to invest in that will make your riders “Careful?”
Obviously a training program is recommended. All kids should be taught how to ride safely, smartly and cautiously. This machine is a weapon if used recklessly.
People outside the go kart are in as much danger, if not more danger than the rider.
So proper driving techniques are key. Invest in a good driver training book if necessary!
Safety also includes safety equipment like pads, suits, helmets, shoes and gloves. Depending on the environment, but 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 are all the rage, 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, especially in full frame gokarts, 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 actually get seriously hurt. The roll cage is just that a cage, and not being belted in, the cage becomes the enemy.
Also make sure that guards and shields are considered as part of the safety protocol. Legislature regarding gokarts has been passed to make sure that hair is not snagged by moving axles on go karts. The axles are to be shielded to prevent entanglement.
Bottom line is safety involves an attitude about driving. Safety also involves proper crash protection and crash protection equipment.
You will never eliminate an accident, but you can certainly minimize the chances and the risks of an accident.
Note: I want it to be understood that I really think safety equipment is a great idea. I have heard horror stories that could have been prevented with good safety equipment. Be sure to make safety equipment top on your list, and not last.