The BHS always recommends wearing hi-vis clothing and lights when riding or carriage driving, regardless of whether you ride or drive on or off the road, the time of day, season or weather conditions. We would not recommend going out at night or in poor visibility, in accordance with Rule 51 of the Highway Code.
Wearing hi-vis whilst riding off-road allows dog walkers, runners and cyclists to see you from a greater distance; if you are hacking out in an area where there are low flying aircraft or helicopters, the pilot is also more likely to spot you up to half a mile sooner. It also means in the unfortunate event that you have a fall while out for a hack in the open countryside, you may be seen much sooner and hopefully prevent any injuries from becoming more serious.
What to consider when buying hi-vis clothing and accessories
- We recommend as minimum a Hi-vis jacket or tabard for the rider and leg bands on the horse.
- We would recommend riders wear LED lights wherever possible, ideally in a pattern that highlights their width (lights on their shoulders and the flanks of their horse, for example).
- When choosing what colour to wear, think about the background you will be riding against. At certain times of the year, you could blend into the background or hedgerow wearing certain colours.
- Many hi-vis garments now reach BSI approved standards. These standards are BSEN1150 or EN1150, aimed at use by leisure riders. We would always recommend choosing clothing to a recognised standard where possible.
- For professional use – such as when kit is issued by employers for use by their staff when they go out – the standard should be EN ISO 20471 (2013).
- You can also choose to wear hi-vis accessories such as a lightweight harness, hat band, or any other item designed to be worn on your person. These items should be certified to BSEN 13356 (2001) standard.
Did you know?
As part of our aims as a charity, we used evidenced based advice to improve safety. We commissioned a report by the Transport Research Laboratory to look into the visibility of riders and their mounts when riding on public roads.
Two significant recommendations were:
- Riders should choose to wear lights wherever possible.
- In the absence of lights, riders should wear high visibility and reflective clothing in a colour appropriate for their environment.