Go-kart racing can be dangerous, especially when the rules are ignored. Horseplay and ignoring track rules are common causes of accidents, but other factors like weather conditions and sudden failure in working parts can also cause minor or major accidents.
While it is not uncommon to hear about a go-kart flipping or rolling over, the good news is that most accidents can be prevented by following simple safety tips and precautions.
It is crucial to adhere to safety guidelines and regulations while on the track, even if you are familiar with it. This involves conducting a thorough course sweep, such as the MB2 Raceway in Sylmar CA, to remove any hazardous debris. Additionally, it is recommended to test the brakes by observing how quickly you can stop at varying speeds.
Do not bump into karts, barriers, or any other objects. This can be fatal at high speed, and even minor collisions can cause serious injury. You should also refrain from blocking other drivers on the course or driving recklessly. You will be black-flagged if you are caught doing either.
If you experience an engine failure, stay in the kart and wait for track operational personnel to assist. Loose articles of clothing and hair must be tied up, and shoes with open toes are not allowed. Also, alcohol or drugs are not permitted in the kart, and you will be sent home if you show up for your race while under the influence.
A good racing suit should be a must-have for every go-kart racer. Racing suits are made from specialized materials that protect the upper and lower body from heat, flames, sharp edges, and protrusions. They also help keep the driver cool, comfortable, and focused.
A neck brace is another optional safety equipment that many go-kart racers use. The high g-forces experienced by the driver in a racing kart can stretch and fatigue neck muscles, and a padded neck collar limits movement around the helmet area. In addition to ensuring that the racer has all of the necessary safety equipment, the track should provide first aid stations and training for staff members. In addition, emergency exits should be clearly marked and regularly reviewed.
Although karts are much safer than most other motorsports, it is important to drive at safe speeds. Keep an eye on the signs around the track to determine the recommended speed for each turn. Walking the course before racing to become familiar with each twist and turn is also a good idea, especially if it’s been some time since the last time you raced there.
Never crash into other karts or barriers. This type of behavior puts everyone’s safety at risk. Depending on the severity of the incident, the staff may warn the offending racer or even reduce their speed for one or more laps.
Never take a passenger with you in your kart. Passengers are not allowed for safety reasons as they can throw off the weight distribution of the kart and make it more susceptible to rollovers. This could lead to serious injuries such as broken femur or neck and back injuries. Long hair should be pulled back into a ponytail, and closed-toe shoes are required for racing.
When designing a go-karting track, safety should always be a top priority. This helps ensure a safe racing experience for drivers of all skill levels while minimizing the risk of unwanted accidents and injuries.
A key element to a safe karting track is properly constructed barriers along the course. The barriers should be made of material that can stop a go-kart at high speeds without causing injuries or damage to the kart. Ideally, the tracks should be wide enough to allow side-by-side racing and overtaking while providing adequate run-off areas to avoid dangerous obstacles like trees or poles.
Before getting on the track, ensure you are seated and have your helmet on. A staff member will let you know when to start your practice session. When the session ends, please return to the pit lane and remain seated until a staff member tells you it’s safe to exit your kart.