Events Legend

Register today to become an Iron Rock community member!
Kart Safety

Interestingly, by far the most common injuries among karters are burns from touching a hot engine. According to the National Karting Association, out of more than 300,000 participants competing over the last five years, reports of injuries in all forms of kart racing have averaged about 125 per year. This equates to roughly one injury per 2,400-3,000 participants. And these injuries can be anything from a scratch on an arm to something more severe.

That said, like any sports activity, karting does carry some risks. This is why it is important to take your time when choosing your kart and your safety equipment.

The only limit to what you can buy is your own wallet and your own common sense. It's all too easy to jump into the deep end of the karting pool and find yourself in over your head. Check with your local program and understand their beginner's classes. These classes are designed in large part to keep speeds in check and safety the top priority.

As injuries can occur, each participant should understand the risks involved. You will be asked to sign an insurance waiver before beginning a kart practice session or race. In the case of children, we suggest that moms and dads have a serious conversation with their young potential racers. Talk through all of the ways they could get hurt and how to avoid injuries while in - and out - of the kart. This is a big part of the learning curve - knowing how to avoid what can get you hurt.

Today's race karts have numerous safety features. Over the years, karts have developed bumper and "nerf bar" systems to keep drivers safe. The bumpers guard feet and the nerf bars keep wheels from becoming tangled. In the rare case of collisions, injuries may result if a kart tips over. Again, though, such incidents are rare, and race programs typically run the whole day without incident. Most tracks rate safety as a high priority and will tell you what measures they take to keep their drivers safe.

Mandatory safety equipment includes the helmet and neck collar. The collar is intended to keep the rim of the helmet from injuring a collarbone or sternum, and prevent whiplash in the case of a rollover accident or collision. Other personal protective equipment used to protect the karter includes the racing suit and/or jacket, gloves and protective shoes. Many manufacturers have designed safety apparel tailored specifically for karting.