Karting is becoming an extremely popular leisure activity that is also a great family bonding experience. It is the cheapest form of motorsport and the easiest to get access to. This leaves many wondering if you can drive go-karts if you’re pregnant.
5 reasons you shouldn’t drive a go-kart while pregnant are:
- Karting can be dangerous
- Other drivers might not be as careful as you
- Adrenaline and stress
- Karting can cause discomfort
- Engine fumes can be problematic
Karting is a form of motorsport, which means that it is still dangerous, even if it is easier than other forms of motorsport. Even though go-karts are much slower than cars, there are still some serious risks that you could face while driving a go-kart when you’re pregnant.
5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Drive A Go-Kart While Pregnant
1. Karting Can Be Dangerous
Despite the advancements in the safety of the karts and the safety gear that you wear while driving a go-kart, karting remains a dangerous sport. Although go-karts do not go as fast as race cars do, there are some fundamental differences that make them ‘more dangerous’ in a sense.
The first is that go-karts do not have seatbelts. In the event of a severe crash you could be thrown out of the kart. In the majority of cases, rental go-karts do not go fast enough for this to happen. However, there have been some freak accidents in the past.
If this were to happen you could be injured and it could put your pregnancy at risk as well. It is important to remember that these types of incidents are rare, and it should not put you off go-karting in general.
Rental go-karts need to be tough to withstand high impacts. This is because a brush (or more) with the tire wall is not uncommon. In fact, many drivers crash into the tire walls when they first drive a go-kart purely because they are so different to your average road car, and therefore difficult to get used to.
These bumps, although nothing serious, may leave you with some bruises. If you are pregnant this is not a risk you want to be taking. This is especially true if it’s your first time driving a go-kart and you still need to get used to it.
Rental go-karts might be slow, but if you do crash one of them you would definitely feel it. There is the possibility of being injured in an accident. However, in most cases, rental go-kart crashes are not too bad.
The problem is that it just takes one wrong corner or a crash in the wrong place at the wrong time for you to be in serious danger, especially if there are other go-karts on track at the same time as you. If you’re pregnant, it is just not a risk worth taking.
2. Other Drivers Might Not Be As Careful As You
You might be a great driver, and you could be going out in the go-kart thinking that you’ll be extra careful and take it slow. However, the reality is that you can’t control the other people who are on the track with you.
Oftentimes other people think that go-karts are really safe, and they begin to drive more recklessly. However, despite the fact that go-karts are built to be strong to be able to withstand an impact, go-karting is not a contact sport, and it should not be treated as bumper cars.
Contact Does Happen
However, when it comes to go-karts, the odd bump here and there is normal, even at the professional level. This is mainly because of how narrow the racetrack is and how durable the go-karts are. The fact that go-karts are slow can also make the racing between them much closer, which leads to more contact between go-karts.
There are still many drivers who will recklessly try to overtake you or crash into you on purpose ‘because it’s fun’. However, these reckless moves could put you in danger, and if you’re pregnant you should avoid this at all costs.
It’s Better To Avoid The Risk
Go-kart crashes are mostly caused by go-karts colliding into one another. The go-karts are designed to withstand these impacts with their strong bumpers, however the force that is put into the crash will go through your body as well, which could often leave you with bruises and scars depending on how hard the impact is.
One small bump could send you into the tire barrier or it could cause you to spin in the middle of the track facing oncoming go-karts. It’s difficult to determine whether someone will be reckless in a go-kart or not, so it’s safer to spectate if you’re pregnant.
3. Adrenaline And Stress
Karting is a fast paced sport. Even the rental karts that are much slower than racing karts are still pretty quick because of how low to the ground you are seated. The pace and close wheel to wheel racing makes for an adrenaline-fueled experience.
Under normal circumstances adrenaline is good for your health. It has a similar effect as cardiovascular exercises with an increased heart rate that allows your blood to flow through your body at a faster rate. However, this ‘fight or flight’ experience can also come with some side effects, such as anxiety and stress.
Seek Medical Advice
For this reason, it is not recommended to participate in any extreme sports during pregnancy. While adrenaline itself is not necessarily bad for pregnancy, too much of it can become an issue at a later point. It is always best to consult a doctor before you participate in go karting or any other form of sport while pregnant.
4. Karting Can Cause Discomfort
Go karts are relatively simple machines. They do not have suspension systems, which has an effect on the comfort (or lack thereof) that you experience while driving the go kart. On top of that, they do not have comfortable seats, which makes them even more challenging to drive.
Any bumps in the racetrack are exaggerated a lot, and you feel them throughout your entire body. The steering is very stiff and can take a toll on your arms and your hands. Furthermore, you will be experiencing g-forces, more than your body is used to. G-forces are the forces that act on your body when you accelerate, brake and corner.
The Effect Of G-Forces
If your body isn’t used to G-forces it can be quite taxing. You will definitely feel the effect of the G-forces while driving a go kart, and you will feel it even more the next day when your muscles begin to recover. Go-karting is also just very physically demanding, which may not be ideal for those who are pregnant.
However, all of these factors combined could be bad for your pregnancy. While pregnant you will probably already be experiencing some discomfort, and driving a go kart will only make that discomfort significantly worse. The bumpy and stiff ride of a go kart could also do some damage. It is simply not worth taking the risk.
5. Engine Fumes Can Be Problematic
Go karts use two stroke or four stroke engines which need a special type of oil to be mixed with the fuel. This causes a different type of mixture within the engine and the combustion inside the engine can release gases and fumes that can be harmful to you and your baby.
The engine on a go kart is also placed very close to the driver. In fact, the engine is placed directly next to the driver, with the exhaust directly behind the driver. This means that the exhaust gases are released close to the driver, especially when the go kart is standing still or moving slowly.
Four stroke engines release dangerous gasses and chemicals that can be extremely harmful if you are sensitive to them. If you are pregnant, it is not worth taking the risk of increased exposure, as these chemicals and gases can have an effect on your pregnancy.
It is not worth driving a go-kart if you are pregnant. There are several different factors that could have a negative impact on your pregnancy, including the stress of driving a kart, the discomfort that goes with it, and, most importantly, the relative danger of driving a go kart.