For many kids, go kart racing is their first taste of real driving. Speed, control, and the chance to vicariously live through a real race car experience is an exciting opportunity for any kid, and go kart racing enables children to experience that awesome feeling.
Go kart tracks have sprouted up all over the country, attesting to a kid’s appetite for speed. Still, despite its popularity, many parents are very concerned about the safety aspects of this hobby.
So, just how safe is going kart racing for kids?
Safe age limits for kids go kart racing
As regulated motorsport, children must be eight years old and above to race go karts. This is because, by the time a child is past the early developmental years (ages 0 to 6), they’re more coordinated and developed regarding psycho-motor skills, which are necessary for safe maneuvering and control of a go kart.
It’s most likely that, by the age of 8, a child can master their go kart driving skills, or at least begin to learn the basics. As with all other sports, go kart racing requires practice.
If a child driver expects to drive safely in a go kart, they must commit a significant amount of time to train with a qualified adult instructor.
Safe programs for kids go kart training
Go kart racing programs for kids are open to drivers who are at least eight years of age. These programs provide complete go kart race training, from necessary driving skills to complicated maneuvering to safety training.
These programs typically run until the child driver reaches the age of 16, during which they, as teenagers, may qualify for senior status. Enrolling in these types of programs ensures that a child driver gets the proper training for go karting.
Safety rules for go kart racing
When done in the proper arena, go kart racing for kids is generally very safe, as long as rules are followed. For example, all go kart racers, whether kids or adults are required to wear a helmet. Since collisions put drivers at risk for head injuries, helmets are potential lifesavers.
Another safety requirement for drivers is the safety harness, which prevents drivers from getting thrown off the go kart in the event of a roll or collision.
Finally, it is essential that both child and adult go kart drivers maintain safe speeds on the track. Following these basic safety rules makes go karting much more reliable for drivers of all ages, not just children.
Safety gear used for go kart racing for kids
Very young go kart drivers should be equipped with a properly-fitting fire safety suit, racing shoes, and fire retardant protective gloves. They must also be taught how the different parts of their go karts play a role in their overall safety.
For example, they should be taught how roll bars work so that in case they lose control and flip over while in the go kart, they’ll be protected by the roll bars.
The possibility of a serious go kart injury is always present, the minute a driver hits the race track. However, by following these safety rules, the risks are minimized, and go karting can be safe for kids as well as adults.