As the warm weather sets to continue and with many more summer nights to come, horse riders find themselves making the most of them and venturing out on summer hacks. For many this usually involves venturing on the highways at some point during the hack out, but with over 400 incidents reported to the British Horse Society from March 2017 to March 2018 and over 2900 incidents reported to them, the question arises- is it just too dangerous to venture on a ride out on the road?

Equestrians enjoy a fun hack out to break up the monotony of working in the school, but there have been a number of publications highlighting the shocking statistics illustrating the very real threat and the dangers posed to those riding on the road. The British Horse Society confirms that a shocking 230 horses have died and 39 riders killed when using the road with 1 in 5 incidents resulting in cars colliding with horses.

Such stories regularly hit the headlines and only last week the Horse and Hound featured a story where a young girl was left unconscious in the bushes after a speeding car spooked her horse. She reported that the driver had no option but to plough in the back of her or keep going. She was dragged about 10 metres as her foot was stuck in the stirrup before being left unconscious in the road.

As a rider on the road there are many things which can be done to ensure you minimise the chances of an accident. Simple advice includes making sure that both you and the horse can be seen by wearing hi-viz clothing. Avoid riding in failing light, fog, darkness, snow and ice. When riding on the road ensure courtesy to others and if your horse isn’t used to road make sure you are accompanied by an experienced rider and horse. In return drivers should extend the same courtesy and if they see a horse on the road slow down, the recommend speed to pass a horse is a maximum of 15mph. Pass wide and slow and drive slowly away. If these simple rules are adopted it should make a safer road for all.

As a road user we all owe a duty of care to one another, whether you are the driver of a car, lorry, tractor, riding a bike or horse and even a pedestrian. The principle of ‘causative potency’ describes the potential of road users to causing injury or damage to each other. Naturally, there is a higher risk of injury or death posed by a car to a motorcyclist, or lorry to a horse rider. This greater potential to cause damage is taken into account by the courts when deciding liability for road traffic accidents.

However if you have been involved such an incident make sure you report it to the British Horse Society and contact a personal injury specialist at Farleys. Our personal injury solicitors can assess whether you have a horse riding accident claim. Call the team today on 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry through our online form.