Reconstruction of a go-kart fatality

Raphael Grzebieta, George Rechnitzer, Rebecca Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-86
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Forensic Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • go-kart
  • fatalities
  • injury
  • barrier impact
  • race tracks


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