Golf carts aren't held to the rigorous crash safety standards of passenger cars for obvious reasons–they're usually driven at low speeds in a controlled environment, usually far away from public roads. Still, that didn't stop Europe's crash safety testing group, Euro NCAP, from putting one to the test. It's, uh, gruesome.
The Euro NCAP tested a Club Car Villager for front and side impacts at 31 mph (50 km/h), and let's just say you don't want to be in any kind of crash at that speed in this golf cart. In , Euro NCAP says "[t]he vehicle performed very poorly and showed serious risks of life threatening injuries." No kidding.
In the front collision, the steering column goes right into the dummy's chest, and in the side impact, well, there's no real side protection to speak of. And that's with the seatbelt buckled! If that dummy was riding around un-belted (as pretty much every human who operates a golf cart does), he'd be turned into a sack full of fine-grained plastic and steel ballast.
Of course, there's very little chance you'd ever be going 31 mph in a golf cart like this. The vast majority of such vehicles are operated at jogging speed, in relatively safe low-speed environments like golf courses, retirement homes, and the paddock at your favorite race track. For the most part, the worst thing that happens in the average golf cart crash is that your beverage gets spilled.
But the Euro NCAP is nothing if not thorough. And the results of this clinical crash test prove a point we'd hope is painfully obvious to any golf cart driver: These things definitely weren't meant to share the road with full-size automobiles.