What is car surfing? Police warn of the trend after a 16-year-old dies in Colorado

Police dashcam video of a separate "car surfing" incident shows two teens seated on the roof of a car while driving down a highway.

A Colorado police department says it has received six calls related to teens taking part in a trend called “car surfing” in recent weeks. One incident ended in the death of a teenager.


A May 31 news release issued by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office warned the public about car surfing which “involves riding on the outside of a moving vehicle” as another person drives.


The release also announced the death of the teen, who was 16 years old.


“In the wake of this devastating incident, we feel compelled to raise awareness about the dangers of car surfing,” the release explained. “It is crucial to understand this activity is incredibly dangerous, and the consequences can be fatal.”


According to the release, deputies responded to the scene of the fatal roll-over crash on May 5. Witnesses reported that the vehicle’s back seat passengers were hanging from its windows. reached out to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for further comment but has yet to receive a response.


“Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to the victim’s family and friends during this unimaginably difficult time,” a statement from the release read in part. “No thrill or adrenaline rush is worth sacrificing your life or the lives of your friends or family members.”


The release went on to briefly detail five other incidents the department said recently occurred over “several weeks.”

Prior to the May incident, a Douglas County deputy reported seeing two teenagers on April 18 traveling on the roof of a car at over 55 mph. Police dashcam video of the incident shows the two teens seated on the car’s roof while driving down a highway. They can be seen climbing down from a sunroof after a police officer calls for them to pull over.


In a separate May 12 incident, the department received a report filed by a citizen. It also included pictures of a juvenile sitting outside of a moving vehicle’s rear passenger ledge.

The Douglas County Sheriff is now asking the public to remember essential points, including that “life is precious” and that drivers who engage in reckless driving can face serious criminal charges.


“Never succumb to peer pressure or feel compelled to engage in dangerous activities for the sake of fitting in or seeking a thrill,” the statement further advised, while also prompting others to educate friends and family and speak out. “If you notice someone planning or participating in car surfing or any other dangerous stunts, don’t stay silent. Speak up and report it to the appropriate authorities or a trusted adult.”

In 2018, a New York teenager died from a car surfing incident after paying an Uber driver $40 to allow him and a friend to perform the stunt. The teen, Ryan Mullen, is survived by his parents, who began to advocate for new standards for rideshare drivers.


Douglas County is located 45 minutes south of downtown Denver.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button