Questionable behavior surfs onto campus

By Jesse O. Walls
Managing Editor

 Death Proof Car SurfingCar-surfing, a daredevil stunt for thrill-seekers, is becoming a popular past-time for some Crowder students.  During spring break students were reported to have been seen engaging in this questionable activity on Crowder’s Neosho campus.

“In the last few weeks, I’ve seen students car-surfing in the Crowder College parking lots twice,” wrote Charles Alexander, high school equivalency program (HEP) recruiter, in an email that was sent to all students and faculty.

A fad that gained its popularity in the mid-80’s, car surfing involves one person riding on the exterior of a moving vehicle, usually the top or the hood, while another person drives.

“It’s been done before, it’s been talked about before and it’s not a good idea,” commented Alexander.  “It’s dangerous, irresponsible and pretty stupid.”

A 2012 news release from Loyola University Medical Center states that car-surfing is a “growing national trend.”

“People who fall off a moving vehicle may suffer brain contusions, broken bones, fractured skulls, loss of consciousness, internal bleeding, paralysis and death,” stated Loyola University’s Dr. Thomas Esposito, chief of the Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Burns in the Department of Surgery.

An analysis done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), using U.S. newspaper reports to find car-surfing injuries and fatalities from 1990 to 2008, found that most car-surfing reports came from the Midwest and the South.  It was also noted that 70 percent of deaths and injuries related to the stunt were among young males.

As car-surfing continues to become more popular, several sources blame movies and social media for its rapid growth.

“The trend in car surfing has increased due to depictions in movies such as Death Proof and the spread of viral stunts on the internet,” said Charles Poladian in an article for Medical Daily.

Randi Martineau, computer networking support (CNS) major, feels there are other factors.  “I feel it’s due to peer pressure.”  According to Martineau, friends and peers encourage such dangerous behavior, posing dares or making the stunts sound fun and exciting.

While there are many different reasons that might contribute to the rise in car-surfing, Dr. Esposito warns, “…car-surfing is a dangerous game with stakes that are too high if you lose.”