Go-karts are one of the smallest 4-wheelers in the world, but they are quite fun.
Whether you own one for a sports competition or drive one for fun, it is always very interesting to use.
However, with that entertainment comes with some dangers that you need to be mindful of when using a go-kart.
These 4-wheelers are capable of flipping, and for safety, you might need to consider some things – especially a seat belt.
Find out why go-karts need/have seat belts in this article.
How are Go Karts Constructed?
Go Karts are designed in one of the most unique ways as a 4-wheeler.
First, it has a low center of gravity keeping the distance from ground level very minimal.
Secondly, its four wheels are widely apart enhancing good grip on race tracks.
More importantly, it has some premium/specific features that will ensure fast movement on a track.
Why Does a Go Kart Need a Seat Belt?
Ideally, go-karts can flip for various reasons and the effects could go from mild to severe depending on the intensity.
Whether mild or serious, drivers are likely to have injuries, which may limit their performance on a track.
In order to prevent that from happening, most go-karts are designed to have seat belts.
These seat belts are meant to hold drivers steady whenever go-karts flip.
Besides, it is always beneficial for new drivers.
What Makes a Go Kart Flip?
Different factors can be responsible for a go-kart flipping.
First, go-karts are constructed as a low center of gravity vehicle making it almost possible to overcome certain risks, such as lifting over. This short distance to/from the ground has enjoyable benefits and potential risks.
Secondly, steering too much while karting can be dangerous. The race track curbs are never the best spots for steering because their effect on the go-kart will be felt in different ways – including flipping.
Other causes include bumping into a stationary object on a race track, colliding with another go-kart, or driving without proper training.
How Bad Can a Go Kart Flip Be?
Go Karting is fun but can be a real danger as it seems.
First of all, a go-kart doesn’t have a roll cage or an airbag, which are important features for safety in vehicles. That means whenever accidents occur, the driver is left with little or no protection.
Likewise, this 4-wheeler doesn’t have a crumple zone that will absorb impact during a collision.
Secondly, drivers are exposed to the asphalt on race tracks which may limit maneuverability, causing accidents.
Thirdly, there is no neck supports with the seat, so a flip can cause bodily injury or harm – the head and shoulders are in grave danger.
What Other Ways Can You Protect Yourself from Flipping on Go Karts?
Apart from using go-kart seat belts, there are other ways in which drivers can protect themselves from flipping to avoid bodily harm. They include:
Maintain a Distance with Other Go Karts
One of the many reasons why a go-kart flips is if it collides with another go-kart on the race track.
On no occasion should you try to get too close with another go-kart driver because the wheels are moving at different velocities. If the wheels are in contact, your go-kart can summersault and cause serious harm.
So, if you have to overtake, do not do that recklessly – be smart, so that you don’t get you or the next driver in trouble.
Wear Fitted Clothing
Another situation you might want to avoid to prevent your go-kart from flipping is wearing loose clothes.
Fitted clothes are the most appropriate choice when going karting – not only because you want to stay active and in control, but also make sure that you don’t compromise your go-kart.
Loose clothes can easily get tangled with any part of a go-kart, particularly the wheels, which may cause it to flip upside down.
Use Safety Gear
Go-kart seat belts are not the only safety gear you need while karting; there are other things you need to have/add.
Making sure your go-kart has the right safety equipment is consequential, and some of the things you’ll need include a helmet, a suit, a pair of shoes, a rib protector, and a pair of gloves.
It is only normal to have these things even for track racing.
Maintain a Low COG
You also need to maintain a low center of gravity if you want to avoid a roll or a flip-over.
Generally, a go-kart has a low COG which makes it quite efficient; however, there are circumstances where it could be compromised and that could cause accidents.
To prevent that kind of situation, ensure that the kart keeps a short distance to the ground and remains centered and stable.
Maximize the Use of Frames and Bumpers
Most beginner-friendly carts are designed to be entirely safe; however, you may need to check out some important details for enhanced safety.
First, you need to make sure the tires have wider metal frames to ensure maximum stability and prevent collision with another 4-wheeler.
Secondly, you can integrate larger bumpers to reduce the possibility of flipping over.
Keep Your Hair Intact
Like loose clothing, you might find yourself entangled with the wheels of a go-kart, all because of your hair.
If your hair is down, it is imperative that you pack it properly before going karting.
Be Properly Trained
Training is important even if you are doing something fun in your own leisure time.
The essence of getting trained, especially in go-karting, is to find yourself within something you can control. Consistent practice always does a great deal of good.
Learn more about go-kart seat belts and how to use some equipment effectively to save yourself from difficult circumstances or potential accidents.
Don’t Flip Without Ducking
Even with go-kart seat belts, there is no 100% guarantee that you won’t flip.
However, if you ever find yourself flipping or mid-air in your kart, you should try as much as possible to protect your head and neck.
One sure way to keep those parts of your body safe is ducking or bending forward.
Run Maintenance Check on Your Go Kart
Finally, run a maintenance check on your go-kart before and after using it.
The essence of doing this is to find missing parts and see things that need to be fixed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Go Karts Safe?
Go Karts are safe as long as some essential features are integrated into them. Safety features such as a bumper, and a frame will provide maximum protection against accidents.
Generally, most professional racing karts have smaller bumpers with no frame, which can be quite tricky and unsafe. On the other hand, beginner karts have larger bumpers with wider frames to prevent collision with other go-kart drivers.
Who Can Drive a Go Kart?
The risk associated with go-karting is quite minimal as long as the necessary requirements are met.
For instance, in most places, people above the ages of 6 and at least 48 inches tall are eligible to drive a go-kart. However, other karting centers only allow people above 18 years.
Do All Go Karts Have Seat Belts?
Unfortunately, not all go-karts have seat belts. If you happen to find one that has, ensure to fasten it properly to prevent accidents or flipping.
If you would do everything possible to make sure you don’t crash your go-kart when racing on a track, then considering a seat belt won’t be such a bad idea.
A go-kart seat belt alongside other important safety equipment and features will protect you; hence, putting them into considerations is pertinent.
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