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Dead? Or Dead Slow?

dead or dead slow

In 2016, The British Horse Society launched its 'Dead? Or Dead Slow?' campaign to encourage drivers to pass horses safely.

With an increasing number of reported incidents involving riders and cars, we're building on our solid foundation of road safety education and campaigning to make drivers aware of what to do when they encounter horses on the road.

We have seen over 400 incidents reported to us from March 2017 to March 2018, as well over a quarter of riders reporting that they were subject to road rage or abuse. If you or your horse have been involved in an incident, please let us know what happened and submit a report on our Horse Accidents website.

Since we began began collating statistics in November 2010:

  • 2,914 incidents occurred on the road 
  • 39 riders and carriage drivers have died 
  • 230 horses died

Dead? Or Dead Slow? Infographic Stats Website

Four Simple Steps

We recommend these steps when passing horses:

1. Slow down to 15mph

2. Be patient, don't sound your horn or rev your engine

3. Pass wide (at least a car's width)

4. Drive slowly away.


Advice for Riders

There are many things we recommend riders can do to reduce the risk of becoming another statistic.

• Always wear hi-viz clothing and put hi-viz equipment on your horse – even on bright days, it is surprising how well a horse can be camouflaged against a hedge. Find out more about what to wear.

• Unless absolutely necessary, we highly recommend you avoid riding in failing light, fog or darkness or when it is snowing or icy

• Show courtesy to drivers – if you show drivers appreciation of their efforts, then drivers should return the favour

• If you are riding a horse that is not used to roads, make sure you are accompanied by an experienced rider and horse

• Concentrate all the time

• Make sure you have told someone where you are going and what time you are expected back.

What We've Achieved So Far

• The Dead Slow message has reached more than one million people through social media alone, and has been covered in national, regional and equestrian media

• The BHS teamed up with the Department of Transport to produce a THINK! video (see above video) that’s been shown on TV and in cinemas

• To finish off 2016, Dead Slow was awarded Driver Education Campaign of the Year by the Driving Instructors Association

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