Inside the Dangerous Trend of Car Surfing and How a Single Joyride Can Kill

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Car surfing videos are wildly popular on YouTube, but people are putting their lives on the line to perform the feats.

The stunt, which involves riding unrestrained on top of a vehicle with another person driving, is a dangerous endeavor that has claimed more than one life.

But for adrenaline junkies, it provides a unique thrill. Inside Edition spoke to 19-year-old college student Dean Zebian, who can be seen car surfing with a group of friends in a video recently posted to YouTube. 

"No dying — that's the No. 1 rule," a person shouts in the video. 

Inside Edition Senior Correspondent Les Trent asked Zebian about that remark. 

"That sounds like an irrational thing to say," Trent said.

"Yes, definitely irrational, it's a very irresponsible thing," Zebian replied. "I don't recommend anyone do it!"

Asked whether he's ever had any close calls, Zebian said he once nearly slipped off a car on a sharp turn.

"You really have to hold yourself on here," he said.

Not everyone walks away unscathed. Texas student Dakota Revell, then 14, was almost killed when she slipped off the back of a moving car back in 2016.

Surveillance video shows her falling and striking her head on the pavement. 

"I was like, 'How am I still alive?'" she told Inside Edition. "It looked bad."

She was rushed to the hospital, where she underwent life-saving brain surgery. Her mother, Veronica, stayed by her side during the long recovery process.

Revell is now doing well, but her mom is still stunned by her daughter's severe injuries.

"I didn't know exactly all the details until I saw the video and I was completely shocked," said Veronica.

Inside Edition spoke to ARCCA expert Michael Markushewski to get an idea of what can happen at slow speeds if a car stops short with someone on the roof. 

He put a dummy on the roof of a car and then accelerated to about 25 mph.

"I'm applying the brakes now," he said. 

As he slowed, the dummy went flying off the roof.

Inside Edition repeated the test, and each time the dummy was hurled into the air and onto the pavement.


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