Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Every day, we’re witnessing an increased advancement in the world of drones. These electronics have become more intelligent and can now use AI to make decisions and perform incredibly complex tasks.
However, based on how they’re used, drones can be dangerous. But why are drones dangerous?
Drones, when used to harm people physically, violate people’s privacy, and perform illegal activities such as taking weapons or drugs to criminals in jail. Besides malicious uses, when used by inexperienced people or those unfamiliar with the set FAA rules, drones can also become dangerous to the pilot and those within the flying zones.
Below, I’ll discuss several dangers associated with drone use and what can be done to mitigate such dangers. Read on.
Table of contents
- Why Are Drones Dangerous?
- Measures to Reduce Drone Dangers:
- How to Minimize the Dangers of Drone?
- Parting Shot:
Why Are Drones Dangerous?
Though most people who fly or see drones flying around them view them as safe and fun gadgets, the harm they can cause may sometimes be beyond repair.
Let’s take a look.
Violate People’s Privacy:
Some drones have powerful cameras that can see clearly at night or through walls. Such drones are used to invade the privacy of unsuspecting people.
In various instances, drones have been reported to spy or invade the privacy of an entire community, especially if an attack is being planned. This is dangerous and against human rights.
Perform Criminal Activities:
Due to the use of AI in autonomous drones, criminals easily escape detection. Hence, this makes it easy for them to access buildings and other areas and undertake criminal activities such as bombing buildings and cars.
Drones are highly used in criminal activities, such as taking smartphones, drugs, pornographic materials, weapons, and alcohol, among other forbidden things in prisons.
In Ohio, for example, heroin was dropped in the exercise yard using a drone.
Besides, cases of drug cartels ferrying drugs, among other illegal substances, have been reported in the U.S. and Mexican borders, among other places.
Hurt People Physically:
Though AI algorithms control drones’ flight paths, sometimes they miss the right path and collide with other drones or aircraft.
There are instances when drones have hit trees or buildings or injured people, especially when flown in highly populated areas such as beaches and highways.
For example, a pilot could fly his drone over a busy highway, and unsuspecting drivers could focus on the flying drone instead of the busy highway they’re driving on. Wouldn’t that not cause accidents and result in the loss of many lives? Indeed, such could be a huge loss!
Cuts Caused by Propellers:
Drones being under the control of inexperienced individuals could be dangerous. Sometimes, though, it’s not about experience but the weather. As mentioned above, a drone has the potential to fly away.
If they crash on someone, the drone’s propellers could cause cuts on the ears, head, eyes, and hands, among other body parts. While propellers aren’t made of sharp objects, the speed at which they rotate and their size could cause serious cut injuries to people.
This is why it’s essential when learning how to fly drones, or if you’re flying in highly populated areas, you should attach propeller guards. If you own a Mavic 3 drone like me, you didn’t get a propeller guard (unless you ordered it separately).
So, consider ordering one; for example, the Mavic Air 2s drone propeller guard is made of strong materials and will help protect people if the drone lands on them.
Measures to Reduce Drone Dangers:
The government and FAA have put various measures in place to protect everyone, including the drone pilot, from drones.
Such measures include ensuring that all drones have safety features such as propeller guards and restricting the use of drones by non-trained pilots.
Below are some set guidelines.
Drone registration: Every drone user must register with the FAA before flying their drone(s). Especially for a hobbyist, it’s cheap and easy to register the drone online. So, register with the FAA as soon as possible.
Acquire training: The FAA laws state that you must acquire professional training to fly a drone for recreational purposes. With the course, you gain the necessary skills to fly the drone, which minimizes the chances of injuring yourself or others.
Moreover, you get to learn the dos and don’ts when flying to evade instances such as flying in restricted areas and violating people’s privacy.
Restrain from flying in highly populated zones: To avoid trouble, don’t fly a drone over a highway, stadiums, public events such as weddings and burials (unless hired to record videos and shoot photos), schools, and beaches.
Fly the drone at an altitude of 400 feet or below: To keep your drone flying away from manned aircraft zones, never fly it beyond the line of height. This means staying at an altitude of 400 feet or below.
Keep the drone away from airports: Five miles is the closest your drone can get to an airport. This also applies to other airspace areas. If you’re unsure which areas to stay away from, install the recommended Apps, for example, AirMap, which tells you which areas to stay away from.
Never violate anyone’s privacy: Both minor and senior people in society want their privacy rights respected. So, avoid violating their privacy, as you never know what actions they could take against you if you violate their rights.
Fly within line of sight: It’s easy for the drone to fly away if you lose the line of sight. Consequently, it’s easy not to see obstacles, hence hitting trees, buildings, people, and cars, among others. So, never take chances; always fly your drone within line of sight.
How to Minimize the Dangers of Drone?
Though it’s dependent on the type of drone you own, there are effective measures you can take to mitigate the dangers of drones. For example, you can use the Return to Home feature and others, as I will discuss below.
Return to Home Feature:
Before you start flying a drone, you first want to know where your drone’s Return to Home button is located.
Always automate the Return to Home feature to evade a case where your drone could hurt people, collide with other drones, or crash on people’s properties. So, in case you lose control of your drone, it will automatically fly back home.
Emergency Engine Cut Off:
If the Return to Home feature fails to work, then what you think you should do?
You can tell your drone is about to fly away and injure someone, collide with another drone or an aircraft, or fall on other people’s properties, use the Emergency Engine cutoff feature.
It’s not the best thing because you could lose your drone if it falls and crashes completely. But that’s better than being sent to jail if, for example, someone got injured.
Although advanced drones come at a higher cost, they will save you trouble by avoiding obstacles.
These types of drones have the ‘obstacle avoidance’ feature.
Each drone, though, behaves differently. While some go around and proceed in their previous direction after detecting an obstacle, others stop and hover around it.
It’s vital to always study your drone on arrival and carefully go through the user guide to know how the sensors work. This saves you the trouble of assuming it will evade an object only for it to hit it and crash immediately.
Hover and Pause:
One of the best features you could find in a drone is the hover and pause. With this feature, you never worry about your drone injuring anyone or flying away to restricted areas.
The Hover and Pause feature stops the drone from flying in a particular direction and makes it hover in one place.
As a result, you get enough time to decide if to use the Return to Home feature or direct it in another direction to avoid obstacles or injuring people.
Though it’s fun watching a drone fly around you, this electronic device could also pause serious dangers. For example, it can violate an individual’s or a community’s privacy.
Drones can also be used for smuggling, as vehicles for weapons, carrying out criminal activities, and physically injuring people.
Nevertheless, various steps, for example, undertaking training, following the Government’s and FAA’s rules, and properly utilizing the safety features of your drone, could help mitigate the dangers for drones.