Having been in karting 40 years ago I’ve seen it with and without body work. Without it contact was rare and sometimes catastrophic. When I got back in with my kids I thought the body work was a great idea and I still do even though excessive contact is now the norm. The problem isn’t the bodywork it’s that the rules are not being enforced some tracks don’t even try.
We have several venues to race in our area. One is a local club that uses a car track. The track isn’t very good but the people running it and almost all of the members are really good people. It’s cheap and accessible I loved it because you weren’t come up against big money or factory teams it was good local racing. There were 2 idiots in the shifter class that were just plain reckless so reckless that the entire TAG class refused to run with them. The track for whatever reason wouldn’t do anything about it. I guess they were worried about kart count and I get that but in the long run they lost kart count by trying to appease everyone and ignoring the problem. There are other tracks in our area that do enforce the rules so now we go there.
Tracks have to start enforcing the rules. If they don’t then don’t show up.