By Anna Ellis •
Published: 13 Feb 2024 • 9:00
Fatal selfies: More deadly than shark attacks. Image: Dudarev Mikhail / Shutterstock.com.
Selfie bans at tourist spots are becoming more common, and for good reason: they save lives.
A study published in the Journal of Travel Medicine found that selfie-related deaths have surpassed fatalities from shark attacks.
Over 13 years, there were 379 selfie-related deaths, with 140 involving tourists, compared to 90 fatal shark encounters.
In Venice, Italy, a gondola nearly capsized because tourists were too focused on taking selfies instead of listening to safety warnings. Thankfully, there were no injuries, but the incident could have ended tragically.
People risk their lives for the perfect selfie, leading to fatal falls from cliffs, accidents with vehicles and trains, dangerous encounters with wildlife, and drownings.
Authorities are taking action, imposing fines and even jail time for reckless selfie behaviour.
For example, a woman died while attempting a selfie at Prabalgad Fort in India, and a spectator’s selfie caused a massive pile-up during the 2023 Tour de France.
Portofino, Italy, introduced a temporary selfie ban to prevent tourists from obstructing traffic while taking photos.
The desire for attention and validation on social media often drives reckless behaviour, causing people to ignore safety warnings or venture into dangerous areas.
On average, victims were 24.4 years old, with women more likely to die from falls or animal encounters, and men more likely to die in transport-related incidents.
India, the United States, and Russia have the highest number of selfie-related deaths.
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Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.
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