Global Study Reveals the Deadly Toll of Selfies

By Kehl Bayern / October 4, 2018

A topic often featured on these pages, selfies are a phenomenon that have spawned a range of accessories and even entire cameras devoted to capturing the best picture possible.

Image via Kaique Rocha from Pexels.com.

But we’ve also outlined a few of the more tragic instances when selfies go bad, some leading to death.

In what is probably one of the most comprehensive looks at the phenomenon and the tragedies sometimes associated with it, the US National Library of Medicine looked at the results of the study which examined the 259 selfie deaths that occurred between 2011 and 2017 in order to develop their guidelines that advise high-traffic tourist areas with dangerous vistas to clearly label the risks associated with taking selfies there or even cordon off the zone completely to curb accidents and related deaths.

The study, “Selfies: A boon or a bane?” looked at the most common causes of death from selfies and found that falling, drowning, and transportation-related accidents were by far the most common causes of death by selfie while others such as getting attacked by animals, from “electrocution, fire and firearms also appeared frequently in reports from around the world” according to the BBC.

This was the first to delve deeply into documented cases of death by selfies unlike previous surveys which took a more broad approach to the phenomenon. Even with the comprehensive approach employed by the team they still estimate that taking a selfie in a dangerous situation being listed as the cause of death is probably an underreported phenomenon.

That said, it seems like even more evidence that tourist areas really need to take seriously the risks that people will take to get perfect snap. But, as some will point out, even with warnings people will still take risks which makes this issue one of balance between restrictive guidance and prohibitive physical barriers.


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About the author

Kehl Bayern

Kehl Bayern is our staff news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing. In terms of photography, he is interested in architecture and modern design. Kehl Bayern is also the author of science fiction thriller Animus Proxy. He is based in Boston, Massachusetts and studied politics at the University of Virginia and, later, Harvard University for graduate school. He spends much of his time traveling up and down the east coast of the United States. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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