Staying safe on Go-Karts

Racers take to the track at On Track Karting in Wallingford (WTNH)

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Families looking for some summer fun no matter what the weather might be looking to take spin around a go-kart track, but accidents from karting send thousands to the hospital every year. News8 has your back with some tips about what to look for when it comes to safety.

They may be small, but go-karts can hit speeds of close to 40 miles an hour. That’s why helmets and neck braces are mandatory at OnTrack Karting in Wallingford.

“You can have a collision with another kart, you can have a collision with the barrier system,” explains Marty Tyrrel, CEO of On Track Karting. “The neck brace is designed to help support the head with the added weight of the helmet, you want to provide as much support to the neck as you can on impact.”

Another safety concern is Long hair. It can get trapped in the machinery, so be sure to tuck that inside your clothes. At OnTrack, the karts themselves have added safety features, too.

“All the go-karts are equipped with a roll bar, in the unlikely event that the kart’s going to end up on its side,” Tyrrel said. “We provide a racing harness, which provides more support than a typical 3-point sat belt that you’d find in an automobile.”

But what happens if drivers themselves are not being smart and safe on the track?

“We can shut the kart down remotely, we can also slow the karts down,” said Tyrrel.

When it comes to riding on a go-kart outside on paths, driveways, or streets, parents need to be sure that anyone driving a go-kart takes the same safety precautions they would while at the track. Last month, a sixteen year old Montville boy died when he crashed his go-kart at the end of his driveway. Marty Tyrrel says most karting injuries involve unsupervised drivers not on a closed course.

“I think the problem there is there are so many uncontrollable variables,” said Tryrrel. “The terrain you’re on, other vehicles, other obstacles that you might encounter.”

The advice from the experts is, if you’re thinking about using a go-kart out in the real world, outside of a controlled environment, at least come and test drive some karts in a track environment first, so you know what you’re getting into.

For more information on On Track Karting, visit them online.

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