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Teens and Car Surfing: What You Need to Know

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: September 12, 2013 | Categories: Children, Guest Posts, Parenting
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Guest Post

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Some teens quickly become bored with following the rules and doing what is expected of them. When it comes to driving, many teens like to push the limits and engage in activities that could cause them to become injured or even kill them.

However, as they enjoy activities like car surfing, teenagers often do not believe that they are putting themselves in harm’s way. Because teenagers lack the maturity to realize the long-lasting consequences of their behaviors, their parents must step in and stop teenagers from risking their lives for a few moments of fun.

What Is Car Surfing?

Many parents first must find out exactly what is car surfing before they set out to warn their teen drivers against its dangers. Car surfing involves teens hanging onto the top or the hood of the car and riding while the car is driven at very high speeds. Teens like the thrill of riding on top of a car, hanging on with little more than their fingers.

Car surfing can also be done by a single driver. In this instance, this activity is referred to as ghost riding. The driver of the vehicle brings the car to a high speed and then climbs on top of the vehicle while leaving the driver’s seat empty.

Injuries from Car Surfing

Teenagers may not realize that they can suffer a broad range of injuries from car surfing gone awry. When they fall off of a moving car, teenagers can easily break any bone in their bodies, suffer head concussions, break their backs, gouge out their eyes, and damage their internal organs.

Whether you listen to a Los Angeles officer or Chicago injury attorneys, you will hear that despite their youth and resiliency, teenagers can suffer long-lasting consequences that can bring their bright futures to a rapid halt.

Engaging in this activity could lead them to be paralyzed, blind, crippled, or in a permanent vegetative state. They may lose their chances of living independently, going to college, getting married and having children, or even driving a car again.

Before teens take on a night of car surfing, they should think about their futures and listen to their parents’ warnings against this reckless pastime.

Injuring Someone Else

Not only can they cause themselves to be hurt or killed, teen car surfers can also hurt or kill someone else. Because they have little to no control over their cars, these drivers risk wrecking into other drivers and innocent bystanders.

They could easily injure someone that they run over or kill a person that they hit with their vehicle. When they injure or kill someone else, teens are still held liable despite their young age. Their insurance company or that of their parents are often held responsible for the damages.

The Consequences

Causing a wreck that results in injuries or death can make it extremely difficult for these young drivers to be insured again, let alone licensed to drive. They may face jail time and probation as well. Despite being young, reckless teenage drivers could be held criminally liable and have that blemish on their records for years.

Activities like ghost riding are extremely popular with today’s youth. However, parents should warn their kids to avoid the temptation to join in. They are encouraged to detail the risks that teens bring on themselves when they engage in car surfing.

Nadine Swayne forwards this information to all parents with teen drivers. Chicago injury attorneys will offer a free consultation to evaluate your case if your teenager is injured while participating in the dangerous trend of car surfing.


49 Responses to Teens and Car Surfing: What You Need to Know

  1. Julie Wood says:

    This practice is so terrible to be involved in. The safety issues are not there and I am so shocked that this type of behavior is going on. Teenagers need to be told about the dangers of Car Surfing and know that they are taking their lives into there own hands. What a terrible practice.

  2. I know of two boys killed while “car surfing” 🙁

  3. Tammy says:

    Oh my goodness – I’ve never even heard about this before! I’m so glad my daughter has a good head on her shoulders and would never be dumb enough to try this.

  4. stacy hancock says:

    we came across an accident once where they’d been carsurfing. was really scary. im not sure what happened to the kid. my own are so little now, i do not look forward to having to worry about this with them.

  5. Jenn says:

    Never heard of carsurfing. I thought ghostriding was getting out of your car (or whatever!) and dancing beside it. I’m so not up on these things.

  6. Beanybopp says:

    This reminds me of the movie Cry Baby with Johnny Depp in which they get on top of their car’s roofs and play “chicken”….very stupid trend that has come back around but I’m sure that there will be more old and new ones every year. Sad that teenagers think that putting their lives in danger is fun…

  7. ashley cabell says:

    Yes this is a very dangerous game and I’m glad you made a post so people could be aware of this. My mom’s cousin passed away as a teen while ‘car surfing’. It’s tragic….

  8. Heather N says:

    I remember seeing car surfing the first time in the movie Teen Wolf with Michael J Fox. My first thought was now we will be seeing kids imitating this and hearing about injuries or death on the news. Dangerous stuff

  9. Kimberly R. says:

    I heard of it,but i never actually saw anyone doing that.

  10. Robin Gagnon says:

    Thankfully I’ve never witness someone being stupid enough to actually do this.

  11. Colleen says:

    I have never heard of this and from an adults point of view I can’t even imagine someone trying it. Thanks for opening my eyes.

  12. Emily Hudson says:

    I car-surfed once when I was younger and it is just so stupid. Almost has bad as kids playing Chicken.

  13. Nicole says:

    Idiocricy at 99% complete

  14. Anna V says:

    Not a lot of people know about this practice..It’s good that you did a post on this

  15. Colleen Schindler says:

    Wow, this is the first time I’ve heard of this ‘trend’ and it is absolutely terrifying! I have nightmares about losing control of my car and I cannot understand why anyone would find this appealing! I do not have any kids but I do have nieces and nephews who are teens and will take time to educate them on this.

  16. Karen M. says:

    Scary! Thank you for bringing this to our attention; I had never heard of this. To say this is crazy is an understatement. We did outrageous stuff when I was a teenager but this is nothing short of dangerous. Another reason why auto insurance rates are so high! I hope their parents never have to experience losing their teen because of this. Tragic.

  17. Lindsay Lee says:

    Oh my gosh this is so so scary! Thank you so much for sharing this post with us. I have never heard of it before. It’s so scary what kids think of to do. =(

  18. Brooke Deegan says:

    I can’t believe that kids would be so reckless!

  19. Nadine says:

    I’m glad my post brought this insane trend to the forefront. Teens will always think they invincible and this is the scary proof. I would like more parents to have that talk that mine did with me when I first started driving, warning me of the freedom AND dangers of driving.

  20. Nadine says:

    Sorry for the typo–they invincible… they’re

  21. Marcie W. says:

    The thought of my children ever getting behind the wheel is scary enough. This type of behavior is enough to give me a heart attack!

  22. I wasn’t aware of this so thanks for the info

  23. Car surfing? How crazy! Seems like teens (and adults) come up with crazy stuff everyday. Thanks for the information!

  24. Lolo says:

    One of my husbands good friends died in HS from doing this.

  25. LyndaS says:

    Oh my gosh! My children will lose all driving privileges if they are caught doing that or are around others that do.

  26. Courtney says:

    Scary, I have never heard about this.. I hope times change once M is this age 🙁

  27. Oh my goodness Donna, I saw some kids doing this a few days ago in our neighborhood. Thankfully, they were driving slowly but still it is very dangerous. Crazy kids.

  28. Stefanie says:

    This one is new to me… So stupid.

  29. mindy cole says:

    I been seeing more and more of this going on if they only would understand that in a blink of an eye it can go bad

  30. Kate McAtee says:

    I pray that when my son is a teenager that he’s smart enough not to get involved in anything like this. I can’t imagine why this would appeal to anyone. It’s so dangerous. Great post, glad you’re getting the word out.



  31. Lisa says:

    You would think they would know better!

  32. Oh wow, it’s scary what kids will do for a thrill. I had no idea that this was popular with teens.

  33. I did a lot of stupid things as a teen, but thankfully this wasn’t one of them. This reminds me of what the actress did in Footloose.

  34. I thank god my teen is not into this. So ridiculous!

  35. Why, why, why? Why do they do these things! Scary!

  36. Maria Iemma says:

    I am glad my kids are grown however I worry about my grandkids when they become teenagers that they may get involved in something like this. Awful consequences – we must continue to have communication and explain the dangers of reckless behavior

  37. Kayla Lee says:

    Teenagers never cease to amaze me with the new levels of stupidity they reach. I don’t even understand how this became a thing.

  38. ANN*H says:

    Yes this is a dangerous thing for the surfer and the driver. It has been around longer than most of us think it was. I had 2 friends who died while doing this. One was a young man with 2 kids. Do not ever do this – it can and will kill you quicker than you think .Thanks for putting this info out there as some may not be aware of this type of thing

  39. Lisa R says:

    How horrible, I hope my son doesn’t do this. I am worried now.

    sibabe64 at ptd dot net

  40. John Lamano says:

    injuring someone else is the worst.

  41. Wendy Pence says:

    My teen is learning to drive. I will warn her of this and other dangerous practices. Just hope that she doesn’t ever so anything this stupid! :0)

  42. Lisa K says:

    That is so scary…. the things that could go wrong. What possess them to do this!?


  44. Kristy S says:

    yikes! I have a 13 year old and a 15 year old and have never heard of this before. Thanks for the warning!

  45. Angela says:

    Just reading this article scares me to death! I hope more teens learn about the dangers and choose not to car surf.

  46. Theresa says:

    Ack. Why do kids do this stuff…

  47. Oh my gosh, that is so scary and sad.

  48. Nadine S says:

    I’m so glad this article helped so many!