Go Kart Safety
As with all sports safety is very important in Go-karting. Part of being a good Go-kart racer is knowing how to stay safe, both on and off the track. This is why all drivers are given a full safety briefing before they are allowed to get into a Go-kart.
There are some simple general safety tips to keep in mind at all times, but many of these are just common sense.
ListenIt might seem obvious, but many of us are so excited at the prospect of actually getting onto the track, we don’t actually listen to the safety briefing. When it comes to the actual track session, we are just as ignorant of the rules as we were before we turned up. Listening carefully to the safety instructions will avoid this situation - after all, it’s only five minutes that you need to listen for!
ClothesFor beginners, helmets and protective overalls are provided at the circuit. Once you become a better Go-kart driver and get to the stage where you are expected to buy your own Go-kart, the protective gear will no longer be provided, and you will have to buy your own.
Gloves are always a good idea, as your hands can get sore from gripping the steering wheel (especially as beginners tend to grip the steering wheel very tightly!). Loose clothing is always advisable.
Trainers are the recommended form of footwear, particularly ones with thin soles. Thick-soled trainers are often frowned upon, as they can be too thick for you properly feel the pedals beneath your feet. As only the slightest touch is often needed to brake or accelerate, thick-soled trainers can really have a negative effect on your driving skills.
MaintenanceAll Go-karts are maintained to a very high standard to make sure that they are as safe as possible.
Safety BarriersMany circuits have safety barriers around the track as added protection for anyone who crashes.
TyresYour Go-kart’s tyres should be checked before use to make sure that they have the right pressure. If they aren’t the right pressure, the Go-kart can become unstable, and the braking and steering can be affected. The recommended pressure is usually indicated on the Go-kart’s sidewall - this will inform you of the maximum tyre pressure of your Go-kart.
FuelCheck your fuel supply before you use the Go-kart. If your Go-karts needed refuelling, this should never be done whilst the engine is still running, or while the engine is heated.
Avoid getting fuel in the filler neck. Make sure that you screw the cap back on tightly to stop the fuel from leaking out.
Unusual NoisesIf your Go-kart suddenly starts making strange noises or vibrations, you should stop it as soon as possible. The spark plug wire should be removed before the Go-kart is inspected for damage - these are usually indications that something has been damaged inside the Go-kart, especially loose or worn parts.
Most Go-kart safety (for beginners) is pretty straight forward, and you will probably find that most of it is just practical and logical. As long as you stick to these basic safety tips, you should be a much safer driver!