Study Tallies Body Count of Selfies Turned Deadly

The estimate is over 250 worldwide
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2018 12:33 PM CDT
A stock photo of a selfie-taker on a cliff.   (Getty/Photoboyko)

(Newser) – A study investigating the increasing problem of fatalities that stem from victims taking selfies in dangerous locales has placed a body count on the preventable tragedy, per the Washington Post. In the study titled "Selfies: A boon or bane?" researchers published findings in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care that estimate some 259 people worldwide perished between October 2011 to November 2017 while attempting to take photos. The study came up with the number by looking at English-language news reports from across the globe. The data was broken down in some surprising ways. For instance, when countries were tallied separately, the data revealed that incidents in India accounted for 50% of all reported selfie deaths, followed in prevalence by Russia, the US, and Pakistan, in that order. Drowning was found to be the most common cause.

One such drowning occurred just last month when a selfie-taker plunged 200 feet off a cliff into Lake Superior. In July, a 19-year-old Mormon missionary from Utah suffered a similar fate in Australia. About 72.5% of victims were found to be males and half of all victims were between the ages of 20 and 29. Per Fox News, such tragedies led study authors to conclude there's a need for "no selfie zones" around problem areas including "water bodies, mountain peaks, and over tall buildings" in order to warn prospective self-takers of the inherent dangers. "Selfies are themselves not harmful, but the human behavior that accompanies selfies is dangerous," wrote lead author Agam Bansal. "Individuals need to be educated regarding certain risky behaviors and risky places where selfies should not be taken." (Read more selfie deaths stories.)

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