Selfie Deaths An Emerging Problem

“No selfie zones” areas should be declared in tourist areas

Careful taking that ‘selfie’.

A study in The Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care found 259 people have died since 2011 while trying to capture the perfect selfie.

And those are the ones that are reported as being selfie-related. Researchers say deaths taking a selfie while driving is often reported as just a fatal collision.

About 72.5% of the total deaths occurred in males and 27.5% in females. The highest number of incidents and selfie-deaths has been reported in India followed by Russia, United States, and Pakistan.

To gather their evidence, the researchers conducted comprehensive searches of news reports using keywords such as “selfie deaths; selfie accidents; selfie mortality; self-photography deaths; mobile death/accidents” from news reports to gather information regarding selfie deaths.

They found drowning is the leading cause of selfie deaths – people washed away by waves on beaches or falling out of boats.

Trasnport is next. The study cites the example of someone trying to snap a picture in front of a moving train.

Fires and falls from high places tied for third

The U.S. led the number of selfie deaths involving a firearm – people accidentally shooting themselves while posing with a gun.

“The youth and tourists are frequently affected because of the desire of ‘being cool,’ posting photos on social (media) and getting rewards in forms of likes and comments,” the study says. “Selfies are themselves not harmful, but the human behaviour that accompanies selfies is dangerous. Individuals need to be educated regarding certain risky behaviours and risky places where selfies should not be taken.”

The study’s authors suggest “no selfie zones” be established in tourist areas, especially on mountain peaks, near bodies of water and on top of tall buildings.

Quick Facts

  • Google estimated that 24 billion selfies were uploaded to Google photos in 2015.
  • About 1 million selfies are clicked per day in the 18- to 24-year-old demographic.
  • Pew research centers have found that around 55% of millenials have posted a selfie on social media services