Image courtesy of www.droneinjurieslawyer.com
In a recent article we wrote about tips for safe drone use with the idea of making readers aware just how much responsibility they should shoulder when it comes to flying drones. Through the simple application of the laws of probability, now that the number of drones flying in the US must be comfortably in excess of 2 million, at a very conservative estimate of 1% crashing, that’s 20,000 drones already out of action. Clearly this will be a growing number which has already got some savvy lawyers thinking looks like they are already in business.
From the other images included in this article, it is obvious that drones can inflict a considerable amount of injury, and it is interesting to see the number of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) with unshielded rotors. To us it seems that in the wrong hands, a drone is about as dangerous as a bunch of ninja throwing stars, and it only seems logical that the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) have now made it a legal requirement that from the 21st December, all drones and drone flyers have to be registered.
However, with the increasing number of accidents, and injuries caused by drones, it was interesting to see that drone pilots are not (yet) required to be insured. In a country where claims for compensation have become part of the culture, this surely is going to be a feeding ground for personal injury lawyers. However, when an accident occurs near someone, will they be able to sue for trauma? What about scaring a dog that runs into traffic and causes an accident? The list has the potential to be endless.
When it comes to reducing the number of drone accidents, surely it is logical to realise that, just like driving a car, learning to fly a drone doesn’t happen in ten seconds. So as you wouldn’t learn to drive a car in a confined space, why try and learn to fly a drone in a walled-in yard or one surrounded by trees? In theory, after the initial outlay, drone flying is supposed to be a really economical hobby, but it isn’t going to be if you fly your $1,000 drone into a brick wall five minutes after you have taken it out of the box, is it? What about you start with a micro-drone, one that costs less than $100, and learn the basics the same way you’d learn on your old family car. After all, nobody learns to drive in a brand-new Ferrari!”
However, we are nothing if not human beings, and in a phrase commonly used in social media circles, the ‘epic fail’ is a thing of much mirth and wonderment, along with inducing mutterings of “What on earth were they thinking?”
And therein lies the rub, as it would seem for just a few, that when this ‘shiny new toy’ is taken out of the box, common sense is put back in in as a replacement, which is a shame. The question now is, with legislation already in place, what effect will the 1% of irresponsible users have where the law is concerned, and will there be a knee-jerk reaction the first time there is a fatality, and there will be. Drone flying is now being enjoyed by millions, let’s just hope that regulations resulting from the actions of a few don’t spoil it for everyone else.