Large and powerful, horses can if startled by noise or fast-moving vehicles, easily panic and subsequently bolt. Overtaking horse riders on the road with extreme care is therefore of utmost importance. Here is how to safely overtake horse riders.
How to overtake horse riders on the road
The consequences of an accident involving horse riders on the road can be horrific for horses, their riders, drivers and cars. Between 2010 and 2015, for instance, 116 riders were seriously injured and another 11 were killed in collisions with vehicles. To help reduce the risk of road accidents involving horses, motorists approaching and/or overtaking horses must:
- Slow down & be prepared to stop if required
- Look out for a rider’s signal to stop or slow down
- Watch for sudden movements, as horses are unpredictable and easily startled
- Never rev your engine or sound your horn
- When overtaking, pass slowly and wide, giving the horse ample space
- Once past the horse, do not accelerate rapidly, but continue moving slowly
This video demonstrates quite clearly how to safely overtake horse riders on the road.
Horse riders on the road
Horse riders can also help to minimise the risk of accidents on the road by:
- Always displaying reflective/fluorescent clothing on both horse and rider, regardless of light and weather conditions
- Avoiding riding in darkness, fog or failing light
- Avoiding snowy or icy roads
- Never taking mounted groups exceeding eight horses onto roads
- Moving into single file (if riding side by side) as soon as overtaking is safe for motorists
- Always crossing major crossroads in a group, as opposed to trickling across one at a time
When riding a horse that is particularly nervous or not used to traffic, it is recommended to ask another rider with a calmer, more experienced horse to accompany you.
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Date Published: May 8, 2017
Author: Accident Advice