Horses are big strong animals, but they can be quite easily spooked and may rear up or bolt unexpectedly, the consequences of which can be very serious if on the road – not just for the horse and rider but for motorists too. If you are out driving and need to overtake a horse and rider, it is wise to slow down to about 15mph and drive cautiously, allowing plenty of space. Watch out for sudden movements, as horses can be easily startled and unpredictable. Don’t sound your horn, flash your lights or rev your engine as this may frighten the horse, and certainly don’t accelerate as soon as you have passed the horse.
If another vehicle is coming towards you on a narrow road, things can get a little tricky, which is why it’s essential to minimise your speed particularly when on rural roads, and pull over if and when it is safe to do so, to let impatient drivers pass by. By no means let them intimidate you.
Between 2010 and 2015, 11 horse riders were killed and 116 were seriously injured in collisions with vehicles. By understanding the risks and knowing how to drive safely when overtaking horse riders, we can reduce these numbers significantly.
Safe driving from Brittania!