As reported on www.efluxmedia.com
Car surfing has become a dangerous "sport" in the United States leading to 58 fatalities during an 18-year period, according to a study released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Car surfing involves hanging outside or riding on top of a moving vehicle while another person drives. The "game" has been popularized by video spread on the Internet "as daring and amusing," but, according to the report, it is risky and dangerous, John Halpin, a CDC epidemiologist and the study’s lead author, said.
"While car surfing may be appealing to teens and others, our recommendation is simple – don't do it. Even a vehicle moving at a slow speed can be deadly. Parents should talk to their teens about the dangers of car surfing, especially if they feel that 'car surfing' has gained attention and popularity in their community," Halpin added.
For the report, CDC researchers examined news reports from January 1990 to August 2008 in 31 states and found 99 reported incidents of car surfing, 58 of which were fatal. Seven out of 10 victims were young men, with an average age of just more than 17 years old. However, the researchers said the number of car surfing accidents may be higher because some newspaper may not report on such incidents. The cars had speeds ranging from 5 mph to 80 mph. Seventy percent of the victims were males. August was the month in which most of the accidents happened. In 75 percent of cases, death was caused by a bump or blow to the head. Seventy four percent of the incidents occurred in the Midwest and the South.
The CDC researchers worry that car surfing might gain even more popularity despite the potentially lethal consequences of this "sport."
The CDC researchers also found:
* Most car surfing injuries and deaths occurred in August, and 74 percent of the incidents occurred in the Midwest and the South.
* In 75 percent of cases, death was caused by a bump or blow to the head.
* In 29 percent of the articles, there was mention of a sudden vehicle movement or maneuver, such as an abrupt turn or sudden braking, which caused the person car surfing to fall off the vehicle. Even at slow speeds, these types of falls can cause serious injuries or death.