Car meet takeovers: wrecked cars, wrecked lives


Colin Barnes

As fun as car meets can be, takeovers are incredibly dangerous and should be avoided.

Colin Barnes, Digital Staff

Flashing Lights illuminate the scene. A 17-year-old boy falls into critical condition on the asphalt surrounded by strangers. The air is full of smoke, shouting, and blaring music as the boy’s eyes close for one last time. The scene I’ve just described to you is not unique in 2022, as hundreds of takeovers have occurred in just the past few months. 

Meets like these are made up of three things almost every single time; wrecked cars, wrecked lives, and bald tires. Takeovers are a disease infecting the car community and the public, and I struggle to see how someone who genuinely enjoys the hobby could support these dangerous activities. As a car enthusiast myself, I’ve taken it upon myself to try to educate the student body here at Bowie about takeovers and why to avoid them.

When discussing the car community, many two things come to mind, the breaking of street laws and the modifications applied to the cars themselves. However there’s so much more to the community, and I’d like to explain how the loud minority of the community is criminalizing the public’s perception of Automotive enthusiasts everywhere.

Through social media, people are able to share photos and videos on a level like never before, but that’s led to a massive boost in people’s dependency to stay relevant and popular. Unfortunately for some in the community, that means fleming themselves pulling dangerous stunts in vehicles built with the expressed purpose of drifting and cousin a scene. 

It’s important to distinguish that there’s nothing inherently wrong with modifying your car to suit a specific purpose, within the confines of a track. Unfortunately, these drift machines are taken to the streets, and more recently,  into the middle of four-way stops to cause a scene; that’s when it becomes a very serious problem. 

These ‘takeovers’ as they’ve been dubbed, can be defined as a flash mob of upwards of hundreds of spectators watching as several cars arrive in a typically coordinated fashion. Takeovers most often occur at specific intersections, or even interstates, as the cars block traffic, and tend to form a ring of smoke as typically 2 – 4 vehicles drift through the center of the group.

As fun as car meets can be, takeovers are incredibly dangerous and should be avoided. One of the only things more common at takeovers than police involvement is being injured. Events like these are a breeding ground for disaster and almost always lead to injuries as minor as first-degree burns to as serious as broken bones and in some cases, death. But the damage to the spectators isn’t the only thing to be worried about.

In many, many of these takeovers, the young drivers that involve themselves cause serious damage to their vehicle, as well as those around them. Pileups become increasingly more likely as takeovers get larger and larger over time. Usually, this occurs when a driver slides their car into another’s vehicle and or a Public facility such as a light post or telephone pole.

So when it comes down to your decision, I would absolutely recommend rather than participating in the increasingly dangerous and highly illegal takeovers, visit a Cars & Coffee or a professionally run Car Show, if you’re looking to see highly modified vehicles and meet fellow car enthusiasts. Over the past few months, as takeovers become more common, many in the car community have spoken out against takeovers and the effect they have on people. 

It is in the best interest of yourself, and the community to not only refuse to participate but to avoid giving those involved the attention they seek, so as to promote a healthy more positive image associated with a welcoming community of people.