Who would've known that a weekend of karting could bring about so much woe? I went for a karting session over the weekend. To be honest, it was my first time. I was both excited and a little apprehensive about stepping into one those little karts. It offered no protection of any sort. The hot engine is just less than 8 cm away from your right shoulder and sputtering engine oil. Your bum is about an inch off the ground and in the case of the karts I was driving, the accelerator and brake pedals were rickety. They weren't even bolted to the chassis!
Despite those concerns, I stepped into a kart anyway. Barely 2 laps into the session, I had a collision with another kart. As far as I could tell, I had overtaken the kart at the previous corner but when I attacked the next corner, I felt a strong tap to my rear wheel. The next thing I see is a girl flying out of her kart and landing on the hot tarmac. My heart sank when I saw her flying in air in slow motion.
I stopped my kart immediately to see if I could render any assistance. And what I saw was pretty bad. The poor girl had road rash all over and her hands were torn open pretty good. All this from a little kart going about 50kmh.
This goes to show that a kart might look like a toy but it can be deadly dangerous. The girl was lucky that she was wearing a full face helmet when she flew off the kart and hit her face on the road. This could've ended way way worse than it did.
A note to anyone attempting karting. Take it easy the first few laps and always overtake safely. Any dangerous maneuvers can cause injury not only to yourself but to the others around you.
Here's a little example of how bad things can get...