With the amount of bumping and knocks experienced by drivers in rigid kart seats there is no wonder that rib injuries occur.
Many drivers wear body protection now under their race suits but to date there has not been any Standard to follow or guide a competitor as to a suitable product.
The FIA have been working on a protector standard which would give protection to the rib and chest at the same time and become the standard across the sport.
Whilst still in the planning stage and if approved, it could be implemented as being mandatory from 2021.
FIA state “It will be designed to protect against three forms of injury: impact with flat or curved structures; impact with steering wheel or edge of seat; and impact with steering column. It will be made to withstand 60j of energy to the chest and 100j of energy to the ribs, ensuring that the force transmitted to the body is no more than 1kN during an impact.”
“All parts of the product will be permanently connected and must allow for free movement of the arms, body, head and neck while being worn. Drivers will be able to tailor the vest to their body size to ensure that it is comfortable, with dedicated versions for female drivers to be made available.”
Their target is to make these recommended once approved and then become mandatory in 2021, to allow manufactures to submit suitable product for approval.
“Drivers don’t like the news, but this standard will give them more protection and safety. Certainly, the data suggests that a chest protector has become necessary in karting. A review from the DMSB, Germany’s national sporting authority, found that many Karter’s had suffered thoracic injuries” state FIA.
Below, FIA show a prototype rib and chest protector based on the standard which has already been tested in track racing conditions.
Share this Post