Car surfing

Teen Dies After Car Surfing

Another teen has died as the result of “car surfing.” The teen fell off the car and received multiple injuries including injuries to his head. He was taken to the hospital by his parents where he died the next day.

If you aren’t familiar with car surfing, it involves standing on top of a car and trying to “surf” while the car is in motion. It seems like this idiotic practice just won’t go away. It’s a popular subject on Youtube.

The problem with car surfing is that there’s no traction to maintain your footing and it’s almost impossible to maintain your balance. The law of physics that says “a body in motion tends to remain in motion” comes into play if the car turns even slightly or comes to a stop.

Given the relatively short distance from the roof of the car to the ground and the, hopefully, low speed, it may not seem like it would be too dangerous if you were to fall off. However, the low speed and distance are deceptive. Even at just 10 mph, a 140 lb teen boy whose head hits the pavement will strike the pavement with a force of more than 460 lbs. That’s more than enough force to cause serious brain trauma.

The Center for Disease Control conducted a study on car surfing in 2008 and found, among other things, that:

  • The researchers found 99 reported incidents of car surfing, 58 percent of which were fatal.
  • The average age of those injured or killed was 17.6, with males accounting for 70 percent of the victims.
  • Three out of four car surfing deaths were caused by head trauma.

You can read the CDC press release here: CDC Media Analysis Examines Car Surfing

There’s no way to car surf safely and parents need to discuss the dangers of this practice with their teens. Read more: Wis. teen dies in “car surfing” accident, police say