Does Go-Karting Make You a Better Driver?

If you have ever been go-karting, then you’re well aware of the fun and thrills you can have while lapping that small track. Finding those apexes and hammering the throttle on the straightaways without having to worry about damaging an actual race car is one of the best parts. But we had to wonder if driving go-karts can actually make you a better driver on the public roads.

Go-karting simulates racing and regular driving

While we can easily equate go-karting to a mini version of driving a race car on a track, it actually simulates regular driving to a certain extent. Just like when you first learn how to drive a car, more time behind the wheel means more experience with certain situations that you might face on the road on daily basis. The same goes for go-karting, the more time you spend behind the wheel, the better.

two red go-kart racers
22 Oct 2000: Michael Schumacher of Germany and Ferrari races with Rubens Barrichello of Brazil and Ferrari in a Go-Kart after the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. \ Mandatory Credit: Clive Mason /Allsport

How does go-karting improve your driving skills?

According to Instamotor, “Kart racing lends itself to high-pressure situations where split-second decisions are needed,” which is important when it comes to high-stress situations not only on the track but the ones that you might face in everyday driving as well. However, the benefit of learning how to deal with this kind of stress on a go-kart track is that you won’t have to deal with other cars or dangers on the real road.

joey fatone go-karting
HENGCHUN, TAIWAN – SEPTEMBER 03: Joey Fatone drives a go-kart Kenting on September 3, 2015 in Hengchun, Taiwan. (Photo by Ashley Pon/Getty Images for Taiwan Tourism Bureau)

Karting can give you a good feel for the way a car handles and drives as well. And while your Toyota Corolla might not have the same steering response or handling characteristics as a go-kart, physics is physics, so you’ll at least be able to train your brain when it comes to driving dynamics when going around a turn safely. Through karting, you’ll be able to feel how your car behaves with more precision. Eventually, you’ll be well aware of other real-world issues with your own car, such as a brake fade and bad tires.

Karting teaches you how to “feel the car”

Whether you’re driving a Formula 1 race car or an electric go-kart, you’ll need to learn how to “feel” what the car is doing. This is also important when it comes to driving your car on regular roads, however, we all tend to be on “autopilot,” which ends up numbing our senses and the ability to feel the car. Go-karting can actually bring back this sense of feeling and bring more awareness to how you’re driving and what you’re doing, especially in high-speed situations.

With enough karting experience, you’ll eventually learn how to brake properly and navigate through a turn safely, carrying speed when you need to as you’ll be able to manage to steer and brake your car properly. Additionally, the more responsive driving characteristics of a go-kart can help improve your reflexes overall.

go karting
BERLIN, GERMANY – AUGUST 13: (EDITOR’S NOTE: Images only to be used mentioning HISTORY) Gedeon Burkhard poses on set during the shooting for the new local production ‘Kaept’n Kasi – Auf hoher Spree’ by TV channel HISTORY on August 13, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Clemens Bilan/Getty Images for HISTORY Germany)

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Just remember that you’re not on a real track

If you do end up go-karting regularly, it can be tough to shake off the feeling of going fast through turns and speeding down straightaways when you get back into your own car. So, as a word of caution, remember to drive responsively on the public roads even if you’re confident and your driving skills are strengthened due to karting.