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Road Safety Week

The British Horse Society are proud supporters of Brake's Road Safety Week. Their theme for 2019 is ‘Step up for Safe Streets’.

Safety of equestrians is of paramount importance to us and we want to use Road Safety Week and our Dead? Or Dead Slow? campaign as an opportunity to raise awareness of the very real threat that riders and carriage drivers face, and to educate drivers on how to pass horses on the road safely.

Take a look at some of the work our Safety Team has done in 2019:

Key Statistics

We have seen 845 incidents reported to us from 1 March 2018 to 28 February 2019, as well over a quarter of riders reporting that they were subject to road rage or abuse.

Dead? Or Dead Slow? Infographic

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. 

For motorists

We have produced this video to show drivers how to take care and what they need to do when they meet horses on the road.


  • Slow down to a maximum of 15mph
  • Be patient, don't sound your horn or rev your engine
  • Pass the horse wide and slow (at least a car's width)
  • Drive slowly away

For riders and carriage drivers

We're on hand to offer some helpful tips and advice for equestrians to help improve road safety.

  • Wear hi-viz, fluorescent and reflective clothing whenever you ride or drive out, on-road or off-road, even in bright sunlight
  • Wear protective headgear to current approved standards
  • Be alert and give clear and decisive signals
  • Acknowledge and return courtesy, a smile and a nod are enough if your hands are full
  • Take The British Horse Society Ride Safe Award

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

Our Research

As a Charity, we believe it’s our responsibility to inform equestrians on what they can do to protect themselves.

The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) conducted research for the BHS to help advise riders on the best way to be seen when riding out. The report, ‘Conspicuity of horses and riders on the road’ was commissioned due to a lack of evidence-based research currently available about what horse riders should wear to help protect themselves.

Three main recommendations have been made, which the we hope will reduce the number of incidents;

  • Wearing LED lights, ideally in a pattern highlighting the width of the horse and rider, along with high visibility and reflective clothing
  • Speed limits on roads with a national speed limit where horses are frequently ridden or driven should be reduced and enforced
  • Riders should use bright and reflective safety clothing where possible – riders should consider the dominant colours in their riding environment and choose a colour which will provide contrast accordingly 

Read the report to find out more information.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with our Safety Department who will be happy to help.

 Dead? Or Dead Slow

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