Drones, or unpiloted aircrafts, have become increasingly popular in recent years. Due to their increasing popularity, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched new rules regulating drone usage. Additionally, increased usage of drones has caused injuries to children and adults.
Drones are being used for personal recreation as well as for business purposes. Their uses range from photography to food delivery to video monitoring. Some businesses have begun to use drones to deliver food to hungry college students, while others use them on farms to check the health of their crops. Even Amazon is seeing if they can use drones for lighter-weight deliveries, since they can hold up to 5lbs and can speedily deliver. Drones are used in movies and for newscasts, since they can take bird’s eye, panoramic shots.
The FAA knows the importance of initiating regulatory guidelines for drone usage. Drones have no pilot inside the actual craft; instead, someone on the ground operates them. One guideline is that the “pilot” must only operate a drone within his or her field of vision. Another is that a drone can only be flown 400 feet in the air or below, and only during daylight or well-lit, twilight hours. The technology behind drones is constantly advancing due to the market’s exploding popularity. In upcoming years, chances are that we will see many new standards and guidelines for regulating drones with the goal of maintaining and improving public safety.
Public safety is important because there are many dangers that drones pose. Just two months ago, a child was injured because a drone crashed into a street. The child was bruised by debris that the drone hit. A college student was charged with endangerment when he recklessly flew a drone inside a football stadium, nearly injuring a military skydiver who was parachuting for the event at the time. Drones have been used criminally as well. A drone was used in a case of felony eavesdropping brought against a retired police officer, and they have even been part of attempted smuggling schemes.
A world where drones are flying overhead is full of many possibilities, many of them positive. For instance, the federal government has partnered with certain firms to test if drones can be used during health crises on an international level. Organizations like Doctors Without Borders hope to use drones to deliver medical supplies, even blood for transfusions, during emergent situations where people are in life-or-death situations. Drones have been used in search-and-rescue efforts, and have saved lives. Imagine that a drone can take the place of a human being and inspect a building to insure that it is structurally sound. In such ways, they can limit the dangers posed to humans, allowing them to remotely conduct certain jobs instead of being on-site and at risk.
Drones very well may be changing the cultural landscape. In the meantime, please keep in mind that there are regulations developed by the FAA that need to be followed. There are requirements on maximum airspeed and certain certifications and licenses that need to be held. To familiarize yourself with all the FAA’s regulations, please follow this link: FAA Regulations. While many of the developments are exciting, please remember that drones can be dangerous and cause injuries, especially if this technology is misused.
The Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger have successfully represented clients who have been injured by faulty or malfunctioning products. If you or any of your loved ones have been injured due to a products issue, an attorney at Galfand Berger, LLP can help. With offices located in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.