Equestrian Road Safety in the UK
The British Horse Society have just published an analysis of over 4000 horse-related road accidents reported to them between 2010 and 2020. This is clearly a major underestimate of the true number as the majority of incidents will not have been reported.
The most common incidents (84%) were vehicles passing too closely to horses and road rage or speeding were reported in around 40% of incidents.
Speeding was associated with a 2.3 times higher risk of fatality. Wearing high visibility clothing significantly reduced the risk of collision by around 5 times! A fatal injury to a horse was almost 12 times as likely to result in severe to fatal rider/handler injury. Loose horses contribute significantly to road-related horse fatalities.
The authors concluded that “Driver behaviour of how to pass horses safely on UK roads needs further improvement and will help reduce the risk of collisions and horse and human fatalities”.
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Pollard, D.; Grewar, J.D. Equestrian Road Safety in the United Kingdom: Factors Associated with Collisions and Horse Fatalities. Animals 2020, 10, 2403.
Figure 1. Map of all horse-related incidents reported to BHS across the UK between 2010 and 2020 (Pollard and Grewar, 2020).