UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: International EM

Title: Selfie Deaths on the Rise

Keywords: Selfie; injury; mobile phone; smartphone; social media; travel (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/2/2016 by Jon Mark Hirshon, MD, MPH, PhD (Emailed: 5/4/2016) (Updated: 5/4/2016)
Click here to contact Jon Mark Hirshon, MD, MPH, PhD

Why are selfie deaths on the rise?

People travel everywhere now with their camera equipped smart phones.  Capturing a selfie while travelling is very common.  This leads to more distracted people and lack of situational-awareness.


Where and how do these deaths occur?

Selfies taken from a height, on a bridge, near motorized traffic, during thunderstorms, at sporting events and near wild animals


Other information:

  • So far in 2016 India has reports more selfie deaths than any other country
  • In 2015 more people were killed taking a selfie then by shark attacks
  • Countries have taken action by creating no selfie zones in at risk areas



Submitted by Dr. Laura Diegelmann


Flaherty GT, Choi J; The 'selfie' phenomenon: reducing the risk of harm while using smartphones during international travel. J Travel Med. 2016 Feb 8;23(2).


-Other info sources;

"Mumbai sets no-selfie zones as deaths linked to selfies rise". The Big Story. Retrieved 25 February 2016.


Annie Gowen (14 January 2016). "More people died taking selfies in India last year than anywhere else in the world — The Washington Post". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 March 2016.


Horton, Helena (22 September 2015). "More people have died by taking selfies this year than by shark attacks". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 September 2015.