Selfie deaths: 259 people reported dead seeking the flawless picture

Howard TerryOct 05, 2018

"The selfie deaths have become a major public health problem", Dr Agam Bansal, the study's lead author, told The Washington Post.

The research found there were 259 deaths out of 137 incidents.

Selfie-related deaths were found to be most common in India, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.

This is not the first time that light has been shed on the fatal risks of snapping a selfie.

Drowning was the main cause of deaths across the world but people were also being hit by trains and falling from great heights, according to the data.

For perspective, there were 12 selfie-related deaths reported that year while there were eight deaths caused by shark attacks. Most of the victims were men (about 72%) and under the age of 30.

The overwhelmingly majority of deaths found in the study occurred in India, which accounted for 159 deaths.

"It is believed that selfie deaths are underreported and the true problem needs to be addressed", it says. It also does not help that selfies are not reported as an official cause of death.

But if it involves flying a plane or holding a loaded handgun or standing on slippery rocks near the top of a waterfall, you may want to think twice. Firearm deaths were higher in the US than any other country, which the researchers said could be due to less restrictive gun laws.

But there are nearly infinite places where it is ill-advised to take a selfie, and as the researchers noted in the study, the number of deaths they identified from media reports is almost certainly an undercount.

Russian Federation has already launched a "Safe Selfie" campaign with the slogan "Even a million "likes" on social media are not worth your life and wellbeing".

I don't take selfies.

Earlier in the summer, an Australian couple fell to their deaths while taking a selfie at a beach in Portugal.

There were three reported in 2011, two in 2013, 13 in 2014, 50 in 2015, and 98 and 93, respectively, in 2016 and 2017.

"But when people actually read in the newspaper that nearly more than 150 or 200 people are dying in the last couple of years, then they'll realise, 'OK, I should not take this much of risk just to take one picture'".

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