Global Study Reveals the Deadly Toll of Selfies


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

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.

What We Recommend to Improve Your Photography Fast

It's possible to get some pretty large improvements in your photography skills very fast be learning some fundamentals. Consider this the 80:20 rule of photography where 80% of the improvements will come from 20% of the learnable skills. Those fundamentals include camera craft, composition, understanding light and mastering post-production. Here are the premium guides we recommend.

  1. html cleaner  Easy DSLR –  Friend of Light Stalking, Ken Schultz has developed this course over several years and it still remains the single best source for mastering your camera by identifying the main things that are holding you back.
  2. Word to html  Understanding Composition – As one of the core elements of a good photograph, getting your head around composition is essential. Photzy's guide to the subject is an excellent introduction. Their follow-up on Advanced Composition is also well worth a read.
  3. Word to html  Understanding Light – Also by Photzy, the other essential part of photography is covered in this epic guide and followed up in Understanding Light, Part 2. This is fundamental stuff that every photographer should aim to master.
  4. Word to html  5 Minute Magic Lightroom Workflow – Understanding post production is one of the keys to photographs that you will be proud of. This short course by one of the best in the business will show you how an award-winning photographer does it.

About Author


Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *