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Do Go Karts Have Seat Belts? Pros and Cons

Do Go Karts Have Seat Belts? Pros and Cons

Wearing a seat belt while driving in a car is essential, and going without your seat belt is against the law. Naturally, many people assume that you need to wear a seat belt while operating a smaller “vehicle,” like a go-kart. But do go-karts have seat belts?

Not all go-karts have seat belts. Professional go-kart racers utilizing open or racing go-karts typically do not have seat belts. However, off-road go-karts made with roll cages and those used recreationally or commercially tend to have seat belts.

If you’re wondering whether or not go-karts have seat belts or not, you’re not alone. Many people wonder whether or not these small racing vehicles have seat belts and whether or not they’re required. Below, you’ll find essential information regarding whether or not go-karts have seat belts.

Do Go Karts Have Seat Belts?

The simple answer to this question is: some do, and some don’t. It all depends on the type of go-kart you’re driving and what it’s being used for.

Open or Racing Go Karts – No

Open/racing go-karts do not typically have seat belts. This is because drivers believe it’s safer to be thrown out of the go-kart than be stuck inside when it crashes or flips. Go-karts offer zero protection (unlike a car), and a driver could get stuck on the off chance it flips over.

Individuals driving open/racing go-karts also do not like the constraint of seat belts. The added restriction can impact their ability to maneuver the go-kart effectively, especially at high speeds, leading to many adverse situations.

Instead, those who operate open/racing go-karts rely on other safety equipment. They may wear all or some of the following: full-face helmet, driving boots, gloves, chest protector, neck brace, and racing suit.

Here’s a video showing the steps to adding seat belts to a golf kart, the steps are similar for go karts:

This is where we got our Offroad Go Kart Buggy for the kids off Amazon. We went with the Trailmaster buggy but they also have smaller karts and all electric options with great reviews.

Recreational Go-Karts – Yes

On the other hand, recreational and concession go-karts have seat belts. That’s because these go-karts are designed for safety and enjoyment rather than performance.

As such, they don’t reach as high of speeds as professional go-karts. The main issue is potential injury from sudden stops or minor collisions, in which case a seat belt will be beneficial.

Recreational and concession go-karts, such as those offered for rent at go-karting facilities or family fun centers, will more than likely have seat belts.

They may utilize one of the following choices:

  • 2-point seat belt – belt covers the legs only
  • 3-point seat belt – belt covers legs with a sash over the chest and single shoulder
  • 4, 5, or 6-point harness – belt covers both shoulders and legs

Off-Road Go-Karts – Yes

Go-karts built for off-roading may be meant for wild and adventurous outdoor fun, but that doesn’t mean they lack safety requirements – one of those requirements is a seat belt.

This is surprising to many, as plenty of people assume that the roll cage or bar will protect them in the case of flipping or crashing. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

During an incident, it is much safer to be secured by the included seat belt than rolling around and hitting against the cage or bar. The cages and bars are designed to protect, but they aren’t meant for you to run into them repeatedly.

That said, off-roading go-karts are always designed with seat belts, and they should be used at all times.

DIY Go Kart – Sometimes

Lastly, there are DIY go-karts – or go-karts created from scratch by an individual.

When it comes to DIY go-karts, it is solely up to the driver’s discretion whether or not to include a seat belt.

For instance, some may create a go-kart for performance and high speeds and decide that a seat belt is essential, while others may not.

Regardless of whether or not your DIY go-kart contains a seat belt, it is imperative to employ other safety measures to keep yourself protected while go-karting.

For instance, you should always wear a helmet and neck brace. Avoid wearing baggy clothing. Maintain all equipment on the go-kart and refrain from riding with someone on your lap.

Why Are There No Seatbelts in Karting?

It’s not that there are absolutely no seatbelts in karting.

Many go-karts do employ seat belts.

However, most professional drivers racing open/racing go-karts choose to go without a seat belt. They rely on other methods of security, such as a helmet and racing suit, to protect them when they’re flung from their go-kart.

For professional drivers, the common belief is that being flung from the go-kart is safer than being stuck inside a go-kart that offers zero protection.

Do Go-Karts Have Harnesses?

Like seat belts, some go-karts have harnesses, while others do not.

You’ll most likely find a go-kart with a harness in a recreational venue, such as a family fun center.

This is because there are younger and less experienced drivers utilizing the go-karts, and safety is a top concern. Yet, the karts don’t go fast enough to propel the user out of the go-kart, which is the case for professional drivers that race at speeds well over 50MPH.

Can You Add a Seatbelt to a Go Kart?

At this point, it’s clear – not all go-karts have seat belts. That doesn’t mean you can’t add a seat belt to your go-kart, though.

Whether you purchased a go-kart without a seat belt or making a DIY go-kart and want a seat belt, you’ll be glad to know that you can successfully install seat belts to your go-kart.

There are many different products available for those who want seat belts in their go-kart, including simple two-point seat belts and more complex six-point safety harnesses.

This is where we got our Offroad Go Kart Buggy for the kids off Amazon. We went with the Trailmaster buggy but they also have smaller karts and all electric options with great reviews.

Not All Go Karts Have Seat Belts!

When it comes to go-karts, only some models have seat belts. It’s imperative for off-roading go-karts to have seat belts, but professionals with open/racing go-karts may choose to go without. The same is true for DIY go-karts. Recreational and concession go-karts will more than likely have seat belts, too.

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