Students Address ‘Selfie’ Death Accidents

Students have shown that people have tumbled into rivers, fallen off mountains, been struck by trains, and even crashed airplanes, while taking a selfie. There has even been at least one person that attempted to click the shutter and accidentally pulled the trigger of a gun. Others have died in an attempt to save the one that was taking the selfie.

There are a group of PhD students that want to prevent this problem, and have analyzed the causes of the selfie deaths. Now, they believe they have the solution. It is an app that alerts you when you are in a hazard area, attempting to take a selfie. Hemank Lamba, Ponnurangam Kumaraguru, and colleagues mentioned in their report, “We found that most common reason of selfie death was height-related. These involve people falling off buildings or mountains while trying to take dangerous selfies.” They attend Carnegie Mellon University and Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology. Second to height was being hit by a train and drowning.

Kumaraguru said that he and his colleagues began to notice a trend, while they were studying computer science at Carnegie Mellon. In order to do something about it, they began to use data mining techniques. Kumaraguru stressed to NBC News how important it is, because people are losing their lives attempting to take dangerous selfies. Through research, the group discovered that there has been 127 deaths, from 2014 to September 2016.

They announced that they are working on software to fix this problem. Kumaraguru said, “It could help users make better decisions.” They are generating algorithms for risk, by gathering information from where the selfie deaths have actually occurred. “We believe that the study can inspire and provide footprints for technologies which can stop users from clicking dangerous selfies, and thus preventing more of such casualties”, they wrote in their report.