A horrific accident left a British toddler without an eye after a neighbor's drone crashed into the young child in his backyard. The neighbor, who is described as an experienced drone pilot, was flying in front of his own home, but lost control of the unit after its rotors clipped a tree.
Guidelines from the Federal Aviation Administration in the US and the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK recommend against flying in populated areas and flying in a manner that might endanger others. But that leaves civilian pilots wide latitude to make judgement calls, and no laws appear to have been broken in the course of this incident. Both agencies are in the process of creating updated rules and regulations that would work to address the increasingly widespread use of drones.
Drone crashes have drawn worldwide scrutiny after high-profile accidents at the White House and US Open. The Department of Transportation recently announced that it would require drone owners in the US to register their aircraft to ensure law enforcement and aviation authorities could better track down pilots following any incidents. And drone manufacturers like DJI and 3D Robotics have recently introduced software updates that would allow them to better map out zones where drones are not permitted to fly and to create geofences that would automatically keep drones from entering that airspace.