Only recently a 66 year old Japanese tourist died after attempting a selfie at India’s Taj Mahal. In the US a woman died in a head on collision whilst attempting to take and post a selfie onto Facebook.
The incidents of selfies that result in death are growing at an increasing rate and have now overtaken deaths caused by shark attacks.
In Russia the government has taken steps with the launch of a ‘selfie safety’ campaign. “A cool selfie could cost you your life,” the interior ministry warns in a leaflet packed with tips. It’s not surprising when you look at the types of accidents that are occurring whilst undertaking high risk and not so high risk poses. In May, a teenager died while attempting to climb a railway bridge and take a selfie. He came into contact with live wires that to most were in plain line of sight.
Source: Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs
Perhaps it’s not surprising that selfie based fatalities exceed shark fatalities given the lengths some people are willing to go to. Only recently in May 2015, a 21 year old woman survived accidentally shooting herself in the head whilst posing for a selfie with a gun.
According to researchers at Sydney’s Taronga Conservation Society, the average fatal shark attacks in Australia is one person per year. For the world, the number of fatal shark attacks is 8 as monitored by Shark Attack Survivors. Compare that to 12 people who died while attempting a selfie in the first 7 months of 2015.
The leading cause of deaths by selfie was being hit by a train or climbing equipment used by trains. Daredevil selfies are increasing as are animal related selfies from bull runs to selfies with bears.
Take comfort from the Russian campaign’s motto. “Even a million ‘likes’ on social media are not worth your life and well-being.” And when it comes to sharks, we prefer to stick to the safe option of the shark aquarium dive with sharks.
Have you had a close run with death whilst trying a selfie? Share it in the comments section below.