The woman was in a group of tourists who encountered a herd in Mana Pools National Park.
In 2017, a trained elephant was shot dead after fatally trampling a tour guide in Zimbabwean tourist resort Victoria Falls.
Another local man was killed in a separate incident after trying to drive elephants into the open to take pictures.
A trend for taking selfies with wild elephants in the eastern Indian state of Orissa has also led to a series of fatal attacks. Officials believe such incidents are on the rise.
Other people have suffered serious injuries while taking selfies with elephants.
Earlier studies have found wildlife tourism causes fear, alertness, aggression, vigilance and stress behaviour in animals including rhinos.
Ms Szott, whose research was published in the Journal of Zoology, said elephants at waterholes could experience frustration and stress, as well as being targeted by other herd members, increasing the risk of aggression towards people in vehicles.
“We suggest a consistent minimum distance from the nearest individual, especially upon first approach, should be introduced to guidelines for wildlife viewing to alleviate the potential for conflict,” she said.
Audrey Delsink, head of wildlife for Humane Society International/Africa, told The Independent: “Stress can be caused to animals if the guide or tourists approach too close to the elephants, coming between females and calves or cutting off exit routes, and it’s that sort of irresponsible behaviour on the part of people that encourages negative responses in elephants.
“Wildlife tourism should not in itself cause an issue if conducted according to strict codes of conduct regulating how elephants should be viewed, such as safe-distance observation.”