Researchers say the number of people dying from selfie-related accidents is on the rise, an alarming trend that’s prompting a call for “no selfie zones.”
From October 2011 to November 2017, there were 259 reported deaths that happened while clicking selfies, according to a new study published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.
But those numbers are considered misleading. The study noted that selfie related deaths are believed to be vastly underreported. “For example, certain road accidents while posing for selfies are reported as death due to Road Traffic Accident,” the study’s authors wrote. “Thus, the true magnitude of problem is underestimated.”
The highest number of incidents has been reported in India, Russia, and the United States with drowning, being hit by traffic, and falling the top reasons for deaths caused by selfies.
People 20 to 29 years old accounted for the highest number of deaths – with 72.5 percent of those being male.
Researchers urged “no selfie zones” be declared in popular tourist areas “to decrease the incidence of selfie-related deaths.”
They said particular emphasis should be put on locations that include bodies of water, mountain peaks, and over tall buildings.
The study said that people often take their selfies to portray themselves in a dangerous setting in an effort to gain attention on social media. “In some cases, this has had fatal consequences,” the study’s authors said.
Researchers noted that while selfies themselves are not harmful, the human behavior behind the activity can lead to dangerous results. They said the public needs to be better educated on avoiding certain risky actions and high risk locations when considering clicking photos of themselves.
In recent days, there have been widely publicized incidents of selfie related accidents.
Last month, an Israeli teen visiting Yosemite National Park fell to his death reportedly while trying to take a selfie.
Just last Sunday, a man in Maryland was seriously injured after falling into the Potomac River while attempting to click a photo of himself in front of the flood-swollen water.