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.
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.
We have produced this short video on how to safely pass horses on the road:
Advice for Riders
The Dead Slow message has primarily been aimed at drivers, but 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
• 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.
One Year On
Since the campaign launched in 2016, there has been a 29% increase in the number of road incidents reported to the BHS.
The BHS believes the increase is due to more people being aware of the Horse Accidents website and reporting incidents they’ve been involved in. However, it is unacceptable that horse and rider are continuing to die on our roads.
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
They are lots of ways you can get involved with the campaign, such as helping us continue to spread the Dead Slow message, so we can reduce the number of road incidents involving horses.
• Share this page and our Dead Slow poster on social media
• Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up-to-date with the campaign and share our message
• Attend Dead Slow events taking place in your region