Saturday, 26 March 2016

Dead Slow

How many times have you seen a horse and rider out on the roads, either as the driver or a passenger in a vehicle? The answer is probably quite a lot wherever you live (yes even in cites you get horses), but do you know how to pass them safely on the road? Surprisingly, a lot of people don't and this is why The British Horse Society have launched their Dead Slow campaign to educate and inform everyone of this following a number of high profile online campaigns.

All about Dead Slow Campaign for horse riders

I know from experience that not all road users do pass horses wide and slow, a lot just speed past and they get so close you can physically 'feel' the vehicle pass. Just the other day while I was riding on the road, a car came so close to me that I very nearly had my schooling whip pulled from my hand (I only carry it to try and keep cars at a distance) and it also nearly crashed into an oncoming car. Luckily, my horse is used to the road and she didn't do anything but it could have quite easily ended very badly. Horses are large animals with a mind of their own and can be quite easily spooked by things, especially if they are too close and moving at speed.

In the last 5 years, over 2000 accident reports have been filed by The British Horse Society about road accidents involving horses and of these, 181 horses and 36 riders have lost their lives. Over 75% of these accidents were caused by a vehicle passing too close. These are just the ones that have been reported, there will have been countless others and almost all horse riders/owners will have a story to tell you about a near miss on a road.

By slowing your speed to 15mph and giving a horse and rider room, you will dramatically reduce the chance of the horse becoming spooked and causing an accident. Yes it may add a minute to your journey, but isn't that better than putting lives at risk? You may come across a horse and rider at any point, but more likely in rural areas, so slow down as you approach them and only pass wide and slow if it is safe to do so. Don't reeve your engine, sound your horn or start giving abuse. If there is no room to pass, wait. Most horse riders will try and move out of the way into somewhere safe to let you pass, so just give us a minute to do so.

The video produced by The British Horse Society, shows exactly how to pass a horse safely on the road and should be seen by everyone, so make sure you share it with everyone you know and you could help save lives and reduce the amount of accidents which happen.

Dead Slow : BHS Road Safety Campaign Video

While you may only see a horse, to the rider/owner, it is their pride and joy, so just have a little patience and give us a little bit extra room and pass us safely. Imagine if it was someone you know on the horse, would you still pass at speed and so close just to save yourself a minute of your journey time?


  1. I actually don't think I've ever passed a horse on the road, but it does seem stupid to not slow right now! Horses can get wild pretty quickly.

    Corinne x

  2. I'm not a driver, but growing up in the countryside I saw people being idiot drivers around horses. It's not safe, people (especially those coming from the city to the countryside) need to be aware.

  3. Yep wide and slow is the way forward. Cant believe some people would do otherwise

    1. It's the only way and you wouldn't believe how close some drivers get