Discover Norther California

Published on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Dying for the perfect pic: Call for selfie-free zones at dangerous tourist attractions

Experts are again calling for tourist attractions to designate 'no selfie zones' to halt the rise of accidental deaths at natural beauty spots.

The obsession with capturing Insta-worthy snaps has resulted in a least 259 deaths from October 2011 to November 2017, according to a new study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

Lead researcher Agam Bansal, of the India Institute of Medical Sciences, said the average age of those who died was just 23.

Drowning, transport, and falls from heights were the main cause of the deaths, the study says.

It also found 11 deaths resulted from the use of firearms, mostly in the US.

"The most common drowning incidents include being washed away by waves on a beach, capsizing of boats while rowing, clicking selfies on shore while not knowing how to swim, or ignoring warnings," Bansal said.

"Similarly, for transport, it is majorly the accidents due to clicking in front of a running train. Among all the reasons for death, drowning and fire have the highest deaths/incident ratio."

The study urges tourist destinations to set aside 'no-selfie zones' at 'places such as water bodies, mountain peaks, and over tall buildings to decrease the incidence of selfie-related deaths.'

In 2015, a whopping 24 billion selfies were uploaded to Google and about one million selfies are clicked on each day by people aged between 18 and 24.

There have been numerous deaths so far this year of selfie-seeking travelers in national parks, including two hikers falling to the their deaths in California's Yosemite National Park and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan.

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