The number of people who are killed while taking selfies in dangerous locations is on the rise, according to a new report.
An average of 43 people per year have died while taking selfies since 2011, with drowning and falls among the biggest killers.
The study shows that men account for seven in ten of these fatalities, while millennial daredevils – those aged 20-29 – make up almost half of selfie deaths.
Scientists suggest ‘no selfie’ zones should be established across the globe to curtail the epidemic of accidental deaths.
A number of popular tourist spots in India have already implemented selfie bans this year following a string of recent fatalities.
The number of people who are killed while taking selfies in dangerous locations is on the rise, according to a new report. An average of 43 people per year have died while taking selfies since 2011, with drowning and falls among the biggest killers (stock image)
The selfie craze began in earnest in 2014, which has been dubbed the ‘year of the selfie’, sparking a number of tragic photo-related deaths.
A US woman died in a highway accident that year just seconds after uploading a selfie of herself enjoying Pharrell Williams’ hit Happy on her car stereo.
Oscar Otero Aguilar, a young Mexican man, accidentally killed himself as he posed for a ‘selfie’ with a gun to his head.
But the trend has continued beyond 2014.
A 24-year old Thai woman was hit and killed by a train in February while attempting to take a picture of herself and her friend on a Bangkok rail track.
In June British woman Louise Benson, 37, and her partner Michael Kearns, 33, fell 30 metres to their deaths after toppling off a beach wall in Ericeira, Portugal.
Study lead author Dr Agam Bansal, from the India Institute of Medical Sciences, said: ‘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.
‘No selfie zones’ should be declared across many areas, especially near water bodies, mountain peaks, and over tall buildings, to decrease the incidence of selfie-related deaths.’
Researchers conducted the largest ever review of fatalities caused by posing for self-shot photographs.
They analysed newspaper clippings from English-speaking nations from across the world, noting the gender, age and cause of death of each victim.
In total, the team documented some 259 selfie-linked deaths worldwide between October 2011 and November 2017.
Drowning (70), being struck by a vehicle (51) or suffering a fall (48) were the most common causes of death.
Meanwhile eight involved ‘animals’, 16 electrocution and 11 firearms.
Men were found to be more likely than women to die while taking a selfie – with 73 per cent of victims being male.
And while the researchers, writing in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, acknowledge that selfies are an important form of ‘self expression’, they say deaths are rising ‘exponentially’.
The study shows that men account for seven in ten of these fatalities, while millennial daredevils – those aged 20-29 – make up almost half of selfie deaths (stock image)
Dr Bansal added: ‘Although our study has enlisted the largest number of selfie deaths and incidents to date, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Many cases are not reported.’
Almost half of all selfie deaths occurred in 20–29 year age group followed by 36 per cent of deaths in 10–19 year age group.
The highest number of deaths has been reported in India – with the state of Goa bringing in official ‘no selfie’ zones in June this year – followed by Russia, the USA, and Pakistan.
The research team called for better reporting of ‘selfie’ related mishaps.
They said: ‘Selfies are never reported as an official cause of death.
‘It is believed that selfie deaths are underreported and the true problem needs to be addressed.’
In June this year British woman Louise Benson, 37, and her partner Michael Kearns, 33, fell 30 metres to their deaths after toppling off a beach wall in Ericeira, Portugal.
The study has also been welcomed by a leading UK surgeon.
Christopher Inglefield, medical director of the London Bridge Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Clinic, said: ‘This research reinforces the huge upsurge in selfie culture in the last decade.
‘And while we should never criticise those who snap safely, the trend does raise some important questions.
‘My message would be to love yourself, not your selfie.’