Isn’t summer great? The warmer, longer days allow us to get out and enjoy more time with our horses. For many, it means that longer hacks are now an option. It may be the case that the longer days make you think that there is a lesser need to wear Hi-Viz – after all, if it is light surely you must be more visible to drivers? However, there are other reasons that you might consider wearing Hi-Viz.
Firstly, The British Horse Society always recommends wearing Hi-Viz clothing 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. While there is no way to 100% guarantee that a driver will pass you in a responsible manner, wearing Hi-Viz will strengthen an insurance claim in the unfortunate circumstances that something outside your control goes wrong.
The BHS commissioned a TRL report in 2017, Conspicuity of the Horse and Rider on the Roads, to ensure horse riders are given the best safety advice when riding on public roads. The research took into consideration the human visual system, in relation to object detection and judgement of approach. One of the main recommendations of this report was the importance of wearing Hi-Viz clothing.
Photo Credit: Jon Stroud Media
Hi-Viz also has benefits for off road riding. It allows for dog walkers to see you from a greater distance, giving them more time to get their dog under control. If you are out hacking in an area where there is low flying aircraft or helicopters, the pilot is also more likely to spot you, giving them the opportunity to either change course or gain altitude to avoid your horse reacting.
Earlier in this year RAF Shawbury’s Be Seen Be Safer horse rider awareness campaign, in conjunction with the BHS, was awarded a highly commended at the Ministry of Defence’s prestigious Sanctuary Awards. The campaign successful raised awareness of the benefits to riders of wearing Hi-Viz and resulted in a reduced number of complaints being made to RAF Shawbury.
Hi-Viz may also help save your life if you are to have a fall while out for a hack on your own. While it may not provide protect, like a helmet would, Hi-Viz can be vital in locating you if you have lost consciousness. It could help a search party spot you or even make it easier for a helicopter to spot you from above.
For more information about how to stay safe while out and about, why not complete our Ride Safe Award. As part of the cost of the Award a Hi-Viz tabard is provided.
Alan Hiscox will be speaking as part of the BETA Summer of Safety Webinars to speak about why you should consider wearing Hi-Viz and much more.
Please also remember that if you encounter an incident on the road, you can report it us through the new BHS safety app, ‘Horse i’, which is available to download for free from the Apple store and Google Play. If you do not use a smartphone, you can still record incidents via the online form at horseincidents.org.uk.