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New statistics reveal close to two horses are killed each week on UK roads in the last year

16 Nov 2020

New statistics released by The British Horse Society (BHS) show road incidents involving horses and vehicles are continuing to rise with 1,037 incidents reported to the equine charity over the past year.


The BHS collates incident statistics each year to understand the rate of incidents involving horses on UK roads. This year the stats have been released to coincide with Brake Road Safety Week.

The theme of this year’s Road Safety Week is ‘No Need to Speed’. With someone injured on a UK road every four minutes, and vehicle speed playing a part in every crash, Brake are sharing the what, the why, and the where of speed. Whether you’re walking to school, riding on a country road or driving for work, the speed of traffic matters to your safety.

The newly released BHS statistics show road incidents involving horses and vehicles are continuing to rise with 1,037 incidents reported to the equine charity over the past year, 81% of which occurred due to vehicles passing by too closely, with almost half subject to road rage.

Dead Slow statistics 2020

*All statistics are from 28/02/2019 to 29/02/2020

The BHS is urging drivers to be more careful when passing horses on the road and encouraging them to adhere to its Dead Slow campaign messages.

The Dead Slow campaign was launched to help better educate drivers on how to safely pass horses on the road. The campaign consists of four key behavioural change messages to drivers:

If I see a horse on the road then I will …

  • Slow down to a maximum of 15mph
  • Be patient – I won’t sound my horn or rev my engine
  • Pass the horse wide and slow, (if safe to do so) at least a car’s width if possible
  • Drive slowly away

Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at The British Horse Society said:
“Year on year we have witnessed an increase in the number of road incidents involving horses being reported to us. With 81% of the incidents reported to us having occurred due to vehicles passing too close it is evident that there is still a great need for better education on how to safely pass horses on the road. It is also deeply concerning that close to half of riders were subject to road rage. We all have a right to use the roads and no one should face abuse for exercising this right”.

Since November 2010:

  • 4,774 road incidents have been reported to The British Horse Society
  • 44 people have lost their lives and 1220 have been injured
  • 395 horses have been killed and 1080 have been injured


Report your equine incidents

Reporting your incidents helps us to better understand the rate of equine-related incidents across the UK. Reporting factual data really can make a difference to equine safety and it allows us to lobby and advise MP's, road safety partnerships, the police and other safety organisations. Anyone can report their incidents or near misses to us; you don’t have to be a BHS member. It is vital each and every incident is recorded in order to be added to our national statistics.


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Support our road safety work

You can also support The British Horse Society and help us in our work to ensure the safety of horses and riders by donating to our 'Dead? Or Dead Slow?' campaign.


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