Do you have a bucket list selfie? One amazing shot to get during your lifetime? Make sure you keep safety first, or that photo could make you kick the bucket sooner than you ever expected.
A team of researchers from India identified 259 selfie deaths from 2011 to 2017, as reported in English-language newspapers. But they note the actual number of deaths could be much larger because “selfie” is not listed as an official cause of the death. Whatever killed the person, whether a train or a charging bear, is listed as the real reason in incident reports. Also, many instances go unreported.
The team found the top three causes of selfie-related deaths were drownings, transportation and falling. India far outpaced other countries in selfie deaths, with 159 in the six years. The researchers note that group selfies are very popular in India, and the nation has the largest population of people younger than 30. This is the age most at risk of death by selfie.
Russia was a distant second, with 16 deaths. The United States came in third, at 14. Pakistan was next, with five.
On average, victims were 23 years old, and the oldest person was 68. Nearly 73% were men. Most, but not all, deaths were due to risky behavior. A non-risky example was a person who took a selfie in a calm sea and drowned after an unexpected wave hit.
Perhaps the most startling stat is that in 2011, just three selfie deaths were reported in English newspapers. In the study’s final year, there were 93.
So, take a few steps back from the ledge and avoid posing with wild animals. Don’t let that bucket list selfie make you into a statistic.