Car Surfing Injuries

Car surfing is the dangerous practice of standing on the hood or top of a car, “surfing” the car as if it were a surfboard. Some youths consider this a ‘sport.’ It is a practice usually performed by teenagers, some of whom are intoxicated and have poor coordination. Obviously, this is a practice that is fraught with the potential for injury and death.

Trauma from car surfing includes head and spine injuries. A recent study has looked at the neurological injuries resulting from car surfing. The study also addressed why this is a growing ‘trend’ in the nation. For starters, it is portrayed in the media as a “cool thing” to do. Additionally, many teens do not seem to think it is dangerous.

The study looked at past records in a retrospective study of two trauma centers and looked at data from January 1995 to December 2008. There were 7 patients found at these trauma centers. They were aged sixteen or younger. Six were boys and one was a girl. The charts of these patients were looked at for types of injury sustained due to car surfing and the outcome. The researchers also obtained the national data on fatalities from car surfing over the same period of time in those cases involving children aged 10-20 years of age. This data was obtained from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in order to look further for national trends involving car surfing deaths.

With regard to the seven children who car surfed, all seven suffered from traumatic brain injuries. Three of the children fell from the back of the vehicle, two fell from the hood and one fell from the side of the vehicle. One child was injured with a brain injury after intentionally leaping off of the moving car. All seven kids suffered bleeding inside the skull; four had skull fractures associated with the bleeding. One patient had a craniotomy to remove an acute subdural hematoma. The other six did not require any surgery whatsoever. Four victims suffered from significant and permanent brain injury. The national statistics have shown a steady increase in car surfing deaths since the year 2000, particularly in Texas, Florida and California.

The researchers concluded that car surfing is an unusual means of getting a head injury but it clearly causes its share of head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Even though this is a dangerous activity, more and more kids and teens are participating in it and becoming injured by it. In the nation, there has been a steady rise in the number of deaths among kids and teens who choose to car surf. It was first depicted in the media in 1995 and kids have picked up the activity ever since. This is why there has been a steady rise in injuries and deaths in kids who want to duplicate what was in the media. Traumatic head injuries are only a part of the problem. Youths are also sustaining spinal injuries and a myriad of other fractures and injuries.

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