Drivers urged to be more careful when passing horses

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Horse riding is a hobby that many people enjoy. The British Horse Society (BHS) estimates about three million people in the UK regularly go riding.

However, the BHS has revealed that nearly two horses a week are being killed on UK roads.

In the last year alone, 87 horses and four people have been tragically killed and hundreds more injured while riding on the roads. Nearly three quarters (73%) of incidents occurred due to vehicles passing by too closely. These latest statistics show an increase of 109% compared to the previous year.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg as many incidents go largely unreported. In fact, the British Horse Society is aware that only one in 10 incidents are reported to them.

The charity is therefore urging drivers to exercise more caution when passing horses on the road. Its advice to motorists is, if you see a horse on the road:

  • Slow down to a maximum of 15 mph
  • 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

Horse riders also have a responsibility to ensure safety issues are always considered. BHS advice to riders is:

  • Familiarise yourself with the Highway Code rules
  • Always be alert, making eye contact with drivers and thanking those who accommodate you
  • Wear Hi-Viz and reflective equipment on both yourself and your horse
  • Let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back
  • Carry a mobile phone for use in emergencies, but do not use it while riding
  • Remember to use the appropriate hand signals to make other road users of your intentions
  • Report any dangerous or irresponsible incidents to the police

Like any sport, there is always an element of risk involved and horse riding is no exception.

Sadly, equestrian accidents are all too common and if things go badly wrong, the consequences can be life-changing. Horse riding accidents can cause extremely serious injuries in riders such as: traumatic brain injury, spinal injury and can even be fatal for the rider as well as the horse.

If you’ve had an accident while out riding that wasn’t your fault and it can be proved the driver was negligent and failed in their duty of care, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

These claims can be quite complex, so it is vital to seek expert advice from a specialist personal injury solicitor as soon as possible.

You’ll normally have three years to make a claim from the date of your accident. However, there are exceptions to the rule – for example, if you are making a claim on behalf of a child or someone who does not have the mental capacity to make a claim for themselves.

Your personal injury solicitor will gather all the information about your accident and contact those responsible to ask if they accept responsibility. If they do, you may receive interim compensation payments before the claim settles to help pay for any medical treatment, rehabilitation, travel costs you’ve incurred and to cover any loss of income if you have been unable to work.

At Novum Law, we have many years of experience helping people seriously injured in accidents that weren’t their fault.

If you are a horse rider and you have been injured in an accident on the road, we can act on a ‘no win – no fee’ basis to help you to recover the maximum compensation for your injury together with any financial losses incurred as a result of the accident.

Call us in confidence on 0800 884 0777 or email

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