Title: Reconstruction of a go-karting fatality

Authors: Raphael Grzebieta; George Rechnitzer; Rebecca Mitchell

Addresses: Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia ' Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia ' Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia

Abstract: Concession go-karts are recreational hire-vehicles with a unique and challenging set of crashworthiness requirements. A case study reconstruction of a fatal crash involving a female rider, that occurred at a speed of 25 km/h on an 'in-door' circuit, has revealed a number of crashworthiness issues that need to be considered by both designers and operators. Details of the forensic investigation of the crash, associated laboratory tests and MADYMO computer simulations indicated three outcomes. First, four-point harnesses must be properly fitted and tightened or alternatively tightened five-point harnesses should be used. Second, a stiff roll bar should be used to minimise movement forward on the belt anchor points. Finally, when tyre barriers are placed in close proximity to concrete walls, the tyres need to have the appropriate stiffness characteristics, be interconnected, at least two tyres deep with flat conveyor belt fascia affixed, and where practical the barrier placed 0.5 m away from the wall.

Keywords: go-karting; fatalities; fatal injuries; barrier impact; race tracks; concession go-karts; recreational hire vehicles; crashworthiness; fatal crashes; crash reconstruction; forensic investigation; simulation; four-point harnesses; five-point harnesses; stiff roll bars; belt anchor points; tyre barriers; concrete walls; tyre stiffness; interconnected tyres; conveyor belt fascia.

DOI: 10.1504/IJFE.2014.059246

International Journal of Forensic Engineering, 2014 Vol.2 No.1, pp.71 - 86

Received: 04 Sep 2013
Accepted: 07 Dec 2013

Published online: 21 Oct 2014 *

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