Development of Proposed Dynamic Crash Tests and Performance Criteria for the Australian Concession Go-Karts Standard

Go-karting is a popular recreational motor sport in Australia and many other countries. Go-karts are small, motorised vehicles that are capable of relatively high speeds. Because of their small size, go-karts present unique crashworthiness challenges to their designers (not unlike micro automobiles and quadricycles). The small distances involved result in limited opportunity for ride-down decelerations of crash forces in frontal and other crash involvements. The international commercial and racing go-karting industry continues to recommend the rider be unbelted, so they can eject from the go-kart during a crash. Hence, the European Commission’s EN 16230 standard specifying go-kart into go-kart crashworthiness tests only requires an effective velocity change (delta V) of 7 km/h claiming higher test speeds are impractical. This study demonstrates that a crashworthy go-kart for higher impact speeds with the rider restrained with a 3-point belt is possible. A practical dynamic crashworthiness performance functional test for commercial hire gokarts and associated track barrier and other infrastructure systems was developed. The results of this research are being considered as a crashworthiness test requirement in a revision of the Australian Standard for concession go-karting and associated track infrastructure safety. The crash tests described in this paper were developed based on results from reconstructions of two fatal go-kart crashes reported elsewhere. For each fatality, a MADYMO model was developed to represent the driver, gokart and barrier system. Alternative barrier designs and seat belt configurations were then modelled. Based on results of those fatal crash reconstructions and modelling of different barrier and restraint scenarios, it was demonstrated that requiring riders to wear seat belts and carrying out crash tests at higher speeds was practical and would improve go-kart crashworthiness. Subsequently, a series of crash tests were devised in conjunction with industry representatives, that would be demonstrative of typical crash scenarios in a concession based gokart environment. Go-kart into go-kart impacts were conducted in frontal and nose-tail at 50 km/h based on European test configurations at the New South Wales state government Crashlab facility near Sydney in Australia. Tests were also conducted on a range of barrier designs. Two impact configurations were tested: one at 25 km/h at a 90 degree impact angle and one at 50 km/h at 25 degree impact angle. The results of modelling of fatal crashes as well as crash testing into different barrier configurations and vehicle to vehicle testing has proven high energy crashes (crashes at the track design top speed) involving gokarts on concession tracks can be made survivable with the use of appropriate restraint systems in the vehicle and effective barriers designed for likely impacts. The study outcomes have revealed that the European Commission (2016) EN 16230 standard frontal impact test should be set at a much higher impact speed, encouraging improvements to be made to occupant protection and crash barriers systems for go-karts used in that jurisdiction.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 17p
  • Monograph Title: 25th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV): Innovations in Vehicle Safety: Opportunities and Challenges

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01652634
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Nov 30 2017 9:59AM