With roughly three million horse riders in the UK, it’s not uncommon to see the occasional horse rider on the road.
Both horse riders and car drivers have the right to use the road, but sometimes when both are present there can be some misunderstanding as to the proper way to approach the other.
This has always been a cause for concern within the horse community, as tragic injuries and even deaths have occurred in the past due to car collisions. Unfortunately, as the majority of incidents go unreported and undocumented, it’s hard to determine just how many are happening each year.
However, according to the British Horse Society, in 2014 alone there were 104 horse rider injuries – including one horse rider who was killed and 23 seriously injured. Even more alarming, the THINK! Campaign (run by the Department of Transport) found that in 2012 five horses were killed, with 26 seriously injured, due to car-related incidents.
The THINK! campaign strongly recommends that car drivers follow these simple steps in the event of encountering a horse rider on the road:
If you yourself are a horse rider and will be venturing out on the roads, THINK! also advises that you keep in mind the following as well:
Lastly, it's important to remember that both motorists and horse riders need to consider each other's needs to help avoid tragic accidents on the roads.