Perhaps it is the remote control or it might be the fact that they are sold alongside other products that are considered toys, but drones certainly have the feel of a toy. These amazing flying contraptions have been spotted in all kinds of places, some for fun, and others for business purposes.
As they have increased in popularity, the prices have allowed more people to buy drones of their own. But with the higher number of drones occupying the skies comes an increase in injuries from inexperienced drone operators.
Drones in occupied airspace
Currently, the rule for drones is that they are not supposed to be operating more than 400 feet above the ground. This helps to keep them from coming into contact with other air traffic. However, some drone owners either misjudge the height of their drones or they ignore the rules.
According to the FAA, there are 25 reports every month of drones flying near planes, helicopters and other aircraft. Although they are small, drones have the potential to cause a lot of damage to passenger-carrying aircraft.
Drones and crowds
Generally, drones are also not supposed to be flown over people who not directly involved in the activity the drone is being used for. There are occasional exceptions but, for the most part, the FAA does not consider it worth the risk because of the potential injuries.
Still, there have been several stories of drones that have either malfunctioned or weren't poorly navigated and caused injury. Earlier this year, a California woman was injured by a drone that hit her in the face during a fireworks show in Las Vegas.
Being safe around drones
Drone operators, of course, have the primary responsibility for their drones. Like any vehicle, drones need to be properly maintained and checked before use. By verifying that the drone is in working order, drone owners may help keep their drones from falling from the sky and hurting people and property.
Whether the operator or the observer, being safe around drones takes focus. Pay attention to where the drone is and where it is going is a key to avoiding injury.