A checklist for taking safe selfies while traveling

Are you practicing safe selfies? It might be time to examine your photo-clicking habits and put caution first. In late March, a man visiting the Grand Canyon from Hong Kong tripped while taking a photo, falling over a 1,000-foot rim to his death. According to a 2018 report in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 259 people died in 137 incidents between 2011 and 2017 while taking selfies.

Time and again, the smallest misstep, distraction or lapse in judgment has resulted in injury or death. To help raise awareness, the National Park Service published a guide to safe photos, and Yellowstone National Park created a pledge that people can take to protect themselves and the park. One way to practice that pledge, park officials state, is to practice safe selfies. “No picture is worth hurting yourself, others, or the park. Be aware of your surroundings whether near wildlife, thermal areas, roads, or steep cliffs,” the website says.

Kathy Kupper, a spokeswoman for the Park Service, says that when people are on vacation, they may not be looking for hazards in the same way they do in their everyday lives. “We always strive to remind visitors that national parks are wild and natural places, and they are amazing, but people really need to prepare adequately and understand the hazards,” she says. “We want everybody to have a great and memorable vacation and we don’t want those memories to include an injury or a trip to the hospital.”

With summer travel season around the bend, keep this checklist in mind for practicing safe selfies:

Stay focused on your surroundings, not your shot.

Tripping, slipping and falling, whether into water or from great heights, have all led to selfie deaths. One moment of inattention or distraction could mean the difference between life and death. “Keep your eyes focused on where you’re going and where your feet are more so than what’s in the viewfinder of the camera, especially if you’re trying to take a selfie,” Kupper says. “Make sure your feet are planted firmly before you line up the shot, and then don’t move once you do that.”

Know the statistics.

In 2016, Ponnurangam Kumaraguru, an associate professor with Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Delhi in India, served as the principal investigator with researchers at IIIT and Carnegie Mellon University on a study called “Me, Myself and My Killfie: Characterizing and Preventing Selfie Deaths.” Kumaraguru, a computer

Source:: The Denver Post – Lifestyle

      

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