Go Kart Safety – A Closer Look at Seat Belts

Many Family Entertainment Centers insured by SterlingRisk have Go Karts as part of their attractions package for their patrons to enjoy. For people too young to drive or for experienced drivers, go karts offer fun and enjoyment during their visit to your FEC.

Example of go kart seatbelt where the padding is too worn

Example A: Frayed and worn material

Overall and in general, the go karts I inspect are in good condition. There are many points of inspection that need to carried out on a daily basis but for this article we are talking about seat belts.

Let’s start with the webbing.

1. The webbing should be free of visible fraying (see example A), rips, tears and excessive wear.

2. On the part of the seat belt that goes over the shoulders there is a padded section that needs to be carefully maintained (example B). This padding usually wears on the inside of the belts that will come in contact with the riders’ neck and cause lacerations or burns if not properly maintained.

Example of go kart seatbelt where the padding is too worn

Example B: Worn padding

The buckles should not show any signs of excessive wear, should be free of cracks, the buckle should be complete and make sure it functions properly when buckled and released.

The stitching should be visibly intact and free of loose or pulled threads.

The seat belts should be properly anchored and secured to the seating area (example C).  There should be no signs of additional wear or excessive damage and they should be unsoiled and clean in appearance.

If a seat belt fails any of the inspection criteria listed above or is not installed according to the manufacturers instructions it should be replaced.

Example of go kart seatbelt where there is excessive wear at the the attachment point

Example C: Excessive wear at seat belt attachment

Remember to have your trained mechanic perform the daily preventive maintenance procedure in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.  There should be no deviation from the manufacturer’s maintenance procedures unless written permission is given from the manufacturer.

A go kart is made up of several safety systems working together to provide the patron with a safe and enjoyable experience.  This particular member of the go kart safety system is essential for keeping the rider secured in the go kart and to prevent excessive movement of the body and/or ejection from the vehicle.  To put it bluntly, faulty seat belts can cause serious injury or death–neither of which is conducive to a safe and profitable operation.

If there is anything I can do assist you with a problem, please feel free to contact me at kvondriska@essentialsp.com.

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