From January 2014 to September 2016, 127 people around the world have died while trying to take a selfie .
Falling off cliffs, being hit by trains and drowning are some of the most common reasons as people look to take ever more ambitious pictures.
“People are losing their lives because of taking dangerous selfies,” Ponnurangam Kumaraguru, from the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, told NBC news .
Kumaraguru and other computer science students at Carnegie Mellon university studied the trends of these so-called “killfies” in order to find a way to stop them. Their solution is to build an app that warns people when they enter a “death-by-selfie” zone.
“We use a combination of text-based, image-based and location-based features to classify a particular selfie as dangerous or not,” Kumaraguru and his colleagues wrote in a report that has been published online .
“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.”
In one particularly disturbing case, a man in Washington shot himself in the head whilst attempting to take a selfie. He thought it wasn’t loaded and pulled the trigger rather than the shutter.
Earlier this month, a 12-year-old girl fell to her death from the 17th floor of a block of flats after trying to take an extreme selfie.
Oksana B, a 12-year-old Russian, is said to have taken the photograph while she sat on a railing.
And she then sent the picture to her best friend before losing her balance and plunging to her death, say police.
Reports suggest her friend thought the photograph was taken in a dangerous location and, despite trying to call her, Oksana never picked up.
The schoolgirl had told her mother she was going for a walk when she headed off to capture the image.
Kumaraguru’s team believe the app they are producing could step in if the user puts themselves in a risky position. It could also automatically turn the camera off to prevent them snapping a picture.
“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,” the team wrote.