Alarming new statistics have revealed nearly two horses a week are being killed on UK roads, with more than 845 incidents involving horses and drivers reported to The British Horse Society last year.
The British Horse Society (BHS) collates statistics each year to understand the rate of incidents involving horses and riders on UK roads. In the last year alone, 87 horses and 4 people have been tragically killed whilst riding on the roads and 73 per cent of incidents reported occurred due to vehicles passing by too closely.
The charity is urging drivers to be more careful when passing horses on the road, with the new statistics showing an incident increase of 109 per cent compared to the previous year.
The increase in incidents follows a partnership with Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society and The Verderers of the New Forest, encouraging them to report all incidents involving feral ponies and horses to the BHS horse accidents website.
Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at the British Horse Society said: “The inclusion of horse incident statistics from Dartmoor and the New Forest allow us to have a much better understanding of the rate of incidents occurring on our roads. The dramatic increase in incidents is of huge concern, but we are aware that only 1 in 10 accidents are reported to us, therefore these figures are only the tip of the iceberg. We will continue to promote our key Dead Slow messages and strive to ensure all vulnerable road users are kept safe.”
Since November 2010:
- 3,737 incidents have occurred on the road
- 43 people have lost their lives and 1085 injured
- 315 horses have been killed and 945 injured
The BHS launched its Dead Slow campaign to help better educate drivers how to pass horses on the road. The key behavioural change messages to drivers are:
If I see a horse on the road then I will …
1. Slow down to a maximum of 15mph
2. Be patient – do not sound their horn or rev the engine
3. Pass the horse wide and slow, (if safe to do so) at least a car’s width if possible
4. Drive slowly away
The BHS is also currently working on a six month trial with Huufe, a new app that allows people to report incidents easily and quickly. The app allows the user to select the type of incident they were involved in whilst also recording the location and time.
The app records no personal data during its trial period therefore the BHS is still encouraging riders to continue reporting incident to its horse accidents website.