Why Karting is a safe sport.
Tyres play an important part in the performance of karts and the relatively small tyres used are a direct development from Grand Prix Racing. In many kart classes tyres are restricted to harder, longer wearing compounds to reduce costs. Even so, the same principles apply to optimising their grip as in other forms of motorsport. The successful karters are the ones who learn to set up their karts to obtain the best performance from their tyres and it is for this reason that so many of today's Grand Prix stars learn the basics in karting.
A very large percentage of Formula One stars developed their skills in the world of kart racing. Drivers such as Prost Piquet and Mansell The most outstanding of these converts is the late Ayrton Senna who was runner-up in the World lOOcc Sprint Kart Championships in 1979 and 1980. On the local motorsport scene excellent examples of experience gained in Karting can be seen from the achievements of Glen Setan & Mark Skaife. Competitor and spectator safety are of prime consideration to both the governing body of karting, the A.K.A., and local authorities.
The Sport enjoys an enviable safety record. Approved safety helmets, gloves, shoes that cover the ankles. Drivers wear purpose made driving suits or leathers (compulsory for road race karting). Karts have inherently safe design with a low centre of gravity making them very difficult to turn over. Whilst the impression of speed and excitement is high, their speed is relatively low (except for road
race karts). With minimal weight and a very large tyre contact area they slow or stop very quickly when the driver gets off line.
Whilst the noise of a kart does not cause pain to the ears any constant loud noise can damage your hearing if you are exposed to it for long enough. Why take the risk? The foam rubber type ear plugs you get at the chemist (not the waterproof jelly ones - they fall out) work well to cut out the high pitch of the motor. They allow you to concentrate better and save your hearing. Don't worry you can still hear the karts running behind you (go faster).