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Common drone injuries and how to avoid them

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UAVs are amazing tools capable of bringing joy to their owners and performing a plethora of complex tasks.

They are flying machines capable of moving at rapid speeds. As such, if they are improperly operated they have the potential to injure both their pilots and innocent bystanders.

Most drone owners are responsible and safety-conscious and will never find themselves hurt by their drones. That being said; many people do get hurt. Simply google “drone propeller injuries” to get an idea of some of the things that can go wrong if you’re not careful.

This article will cover some of the most common injuries drone owners have sustained and discuss easy steps first-time first time users can take to keep themselves and those around them safe. Don’t worry – helmets and safety goggles will not be required.

What sorts of injuries can drones cause?

The injuries in this article are based on ownership of popular consumer drones weighing between 1-3 pounds. Much larger drones, if they are dropped on someone’s head, can easily cause death.

Head

Potential injuries: Bloody nose, black eye, cuts to the face, bumps, bruises, mild concussion.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that flying objects traveling fast and slamming into people’s faces can seriously hurt. People don’t intend to hit themselves or others but flying drones but hey – we are wise apes – of course we’re going to screw up sometimes.

At Virginia Tech University – an institution renowned for its expertise in traumatic brain injuries, scientists have measured the potential damage a drone can cause someone. How do they measure this? By repeatedly flying various models of drone at maximum speed directly into the faces of crash dummies. Once they’ve tried different types of accidents from different angles, they analyze the impact data.

Check out a video of their work below:

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) have carried out similar crash tests measuring the impact drones can have if they drop directly onto someone’s head. They used a 2.7 pound DJI Phantom and dropped it onto dummy’s heads alongside similarly weighted blocks of wood and steel.

The aerodynamic design of the drone caused it to fall slightly slower than the other two materials. Due to its flexible materials, the phantom’s frame bore at least some of brunt of the impact when it hit the dummy’s head, meaning it caused less damage to your noggin than other types of falling materials. The message from this test is clear: you do not want your drone falling on your melon. It may not be as bad as a block of falling wood but it will still bloody hurt.

How to avoid this type of injury?

Be careful about where you fly it

This tip falls firmly into the “no shit Sherlock” category. The main steps you can take to avoid being hit in the head by your drone are to. Flying your drone inside the house significantly increases the chance of crashing into something (lights, walls, roof, windows, anything hanging).

Be wary when flying your drone over crowds of people

If something goes wrong and your drone smacks someone in the head, you could easily injure them and be liable for their medical costs.

Don’t try too much fancy stuff until you kind know what you are doing

We’ve talked before about how some parts of drones flying are easy, some not so much. We encourage users to test the limits of their craft and havea good time. You can reduce the chance of hitting yourself or others and reduce the chance of your drone being destroyed if you make sure you’ve got a handle of the basics before you start trying backflips or other stunts.

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