July 17, 2009

Doctors: Media glorifies car-surfing

Some U.S. doctors suggest stupid and deadly pursuits like car-surfing are being glorified by video games, TV shows, movies and the Internet.

Dr. Alan R. Cohen and Dr. Shenandoah Robinson, pediatric neurosurgeons at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, say they have treated all too many devastating head injuries in car-surfers, who are usually ages 11-16.

Cohen and Robinson and colleagues head injuries incurred from car surfing are as serious, if not more serious than head injuries associated with biking, all-terrain vehicles and motor vehicle collisions.

There have been very few studies that have analyzed car surfing, which inspired us to investigate this activity from a neurosurgical and popular culture perspective, both in our community and nationally, Robinson says in statement.

The researchers say car-surfing, also called ghost riding, originated in the San Francisco Bay area and spread across the country via video games such as Grand Theft Auto, the television program and movies Jackass, as well as YouTube.

The study, published in the the Journal of Neurological Surgeons: Pediatrics, finds an increase in car surfing fatalities overlap with new release dates.