Every few years, it seems like there is a new craze that many teens are quick to join. This time, the craze is not only dangerous, but deadly in most cases: car surfing. Teens looking for the latest adrenaline rush ride outside of the car while the vehicle is in motion.
While it is unknown exactly how many injuries have occurred due to car surfing – as emergency rooms and hospitals do not track that information – anecdotal evidence from newspaper reports has shown that is an extremely dangerous.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2008 determined that in the 18-year span from 1990 to August 2008, at least 58 people had died as a result of car surfing and another 41 people were treated for injuries resulting from the thrill-seeking activity. While car surfing is certainly not a new pastime, it appears to be making a resurgence among teens and young adults. In the last few months alone, at least two teens have died and another two have ended up in medically-induced comas after receiving serious brain injuries as a result of car surfing.
Safety experts at the CDC fear that this number will simply grow now that summer is here. “Teens are risk takers. It’s well documented (that) they look at the fun side of things and don’t think about the risk,” noted one of the authors of the 2008 study. And with school out, teens have more time on their hands – and spend more time behind the wheel. It is an established fact that more car accidents involving teens occur during the summer, so it stands to reason that more accidents involving teens car surfing will also result.
According to US Today, car surfing is most popular in the South and Midwest, notably among teenage males. Because being thrown from a moving vehicle going even 5 mph can result in serious injury or death, it is important for parents to warn their teenage children about the dangers of car surfing.