Try not to die the next time you take a selfie

By | 4th October 2018

  • Researchers at the U.S. National Library of Medicine published a study that concluded there have been 259 selfie-related deaths between 2011 and 2017.
  • India is the country with the highest number of selfie-related deaths, followed by Russia, the U.S., and Pakistan.
  • According to the study, significantly more men suffered selfie-related deaths than women.


Taking an absurd number of selfies does not necessarily mean you are a narcissist, but it pays to know your surroundings when you take them. Just ask researchers at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, which recently published a study that concluded 259 people died while taking selfies.

The study defined a selfie-related death as any accidental death that occurs while someone either takes a selfie or is part of a selfie. Researchers cross-matched a list of web links of various countries’ English newspapers and the web link addresses of the news from Google search results. As a result, researchers excluded any results that did not match, along with news reports in languages other than English, duplicate news reports, and news reports that contained statistics regarding selfies, opinions on selfie deaths, or additional research on selfie deaths.

Most importantly, researchers differentiated selfie-related deaths from deaths due to using your smartphone.

According to the findings, 50 percent of reported incidents and selfie-related deaths from October 2011 to November 2017 were in India. The following countries included Russia, the U.S., and Pakistan. Whereas the ratio of casualties to incidents in Russia, the U.S., and Pakistan is approximately one, the ratio is double in India.

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One reason for India having so many selfie-related deaths is that the country is home to the largest population of people ages 30 years or younger. That just so happens to be the age group with the highest number of deaths due to selfies. Another reason is that the trend of group selfies seems to be more prevalent in India relative to other countries.

Researchers divided the 259 selfie-related deaths into eight reasons: animal, drowned, electrocution, fall, fire, firearm, other, and transport. Drowning, transport, and fall were the three topmost reasons for the selfie-related deaths. Drowning and fire were the reasons with the highest deaths/incident ratio, while the U.S. unsurprisingly had the highest number of selfie-related deaths because of firearms.

Researchers also divided the deaths into risky and non-risky behavior. According to the findings, risky behavior caused 115 male deaths and 27 female deaths. By comparison, non-risky behavior caused 38 male deaths and 31 female deaths.

Based on the results, it might be fair to say that males are much more likely to participate in risky behaviors relative to females. Android Authority reached out to Dr. Agam Bansal, who is listed as the primary author, for additional information and will update the article if and when we get it.

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As grim as the findings are, Dr. Bansal and the other researchers believe this is just the “tip of the iceberg.” Whereas 2011 and 2013 saw three and two reported selfie-related deaths, respectively, 2014 saw 13 such deaths. That number drastically increased to 50 in 2015, then to 98 in 2016. 2017 saw a slight drop to 93 selfie-related deaths, but the number of deaths has been trending upwards for seven years.

The researchers also noted that many cases are not reported and that they excluded news reports not in English. It also does not help that selfies are not reported as an official cause of death. Because of that, selfie-related deaths while driving are listed as deaths due to a road traffic accident.

The study concluded that more tourist areas should have “no selfie zones,” particularly for tall buildings, bodies of water, and mountain peaks. Really, though, you should pay attention to your surroundings and make sure the area is safe enough to take a selfie in. No selfie is worth your life.