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Dead Slow | Road Safety Campaign

With an increasing number of reported incidents involving horses and vehicles, 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.

The statistics

The BHS collates statistics each year to understand the rate of incidents involving horses and riders on UK roads. In the last year* alone there were:

  • 1,010 road incidents involving horses have been reported to The British Horse Society
  • Of these, 46 horses have died and 118 have been injured 
  • 130 people have been injured because of road incidents 
  • 45% of riders were victims to road rage or abuse 
  • 80% of incidents occurred because a vehicle passed by too closely to the horse 
  • 43% of incidents occurred because a vehicle passed by too quickly 

*All statistics are from 29.02.2020 – 28.02.2021

dead slow examples 

Four simple steps for drivers

1. Slow down to a maximum of 15mph

2. Be patient, I won't sound my horn or rev my engine

3. Pass the horse wide and slow, (if safe to do so) at least a car's width if possible

4. Drive slowly away.

Read more information about what to do if you see a horse on the road.

Advice for Riders and Carriage Drivers

  • 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.
  • Wear protective headgear to current approved standards
  • 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 – a smile and a nod are enough if your hands are full
  • Take The British Horse Society Ride Safe Award
  • Be aware of your surroundings and give clear and decisive signals
  • Adhere to the Highway Code

Read more information about staying safe when riding on the road here.

Report your incidents

Reporting your incidents helps us to better understand the rate of equine-related incidents across the UK.

We are urging all riders and carriage drivers to report all incidents they are involved in, regardless of severity, to us. It is vital each and every incident is recorded in order to be added to our national statistics. Learn more about why it is important to record your incidents.

Anyone can report their incidents or near misses to us; you don’t have to be a BHS member.


 
DOWNLOAD OUR NEW APP - HORSE i

Our new horse incidents reporting app, Horse i, allows you to quickly and easily submit details of any incidents you encounter directly to the BHS via your mobile or tablet device.

download on the ios app store 

google play app store

Support our work

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

Help us to stop riders, drivers and horses from losing their lives on the roads.

Case Studies

Please watch and share our videos to help highlight the seriousness of road safety for equestrians and the importance of passing horses on the road both safely and slowly.

Laura's story

“Although a number of years have passed, the pain of losing Angel in such tragic circumstances still remains very prominent. It was and will remain the worst day of my life.”

Laura’s horse Angel tragically lost her life following a road incident where Laura and Angel were struck by a vehicle at 53mph.

 

Amy's story

Amy and her horse, Rambo, were on a hack with a friend along a bridleway in West Sussex that crosses a busy A-road. A motorbike passed without slowing down spooking both horses with Rambo going into the path of an oncoming car.

Useful resources

 report an incident 

 ride safe

 riding out


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