Claim Now

April 22nd 2016

Leanne Stephenson

How much room do you give a horse-rider, and should rules be clearer for drivers to reduce accidents on UK roads?

Leanne Stephenson

Leanne Stephenson

Team Supervisor and Solicitor, Personal Injury

How much room do you give a horse-rider, and should rules be clearer for drivers to reduce accidents on UK roads?

 

 

Good driving is about showing consideration for others at all times when behind the wheel, ensuring the decisions you take reduce the risk of accidents and injury on the roads.

Of course, we all like to think we are skilful and considerate drivers, doing our best to ensure we adhere to the laws of the roads. We know the key rules – and possible consequences – relating to breaking laws on speed, drinking, and using our phones, and drive accordingly.

However, what about the ‘grey areas’ of the rules on the roads, such as how to drive when approaching horse-riders?

It is a situation drivers will increasingly come across, and one in which that key skill of consideration is very much required.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, given the increasing numbers of horse-riders on the roads, there is no firm law or clear guidance for motorists as to exactly how they should adapt their driving when approaching horse-riders to reduce the risk of accidents.

Unclear guidance for drivers to help reduce accidents

The Highway Code advises drivers to slow down and give room, yet does not give any idea of how much room should be left between vehicle and horse, or what speed is considered safe. It is left to the individual’s interpretation.

The British Horse Society recently revealed that there have been more than 2,000 reports of accidents involving horses on UK roads since 2010, with almost one in ten resulting in a fatality.

And according to a survey they conducted, three in four accidents happened because the vehicle passed the animal without allowing enough space.

It is an increasing problem, as in 2012 a total of 165 accidents were recorded, but this figure had risen by nearly 50 per cent to 316 in 2015. Over the past five years there have been 36 rider deaths in the UK, and 181 horse deaths.

A spokesperson for the charity said a major problem was that many drivers are unsure how to behave when near a horse, and it now calling for legislation to be introduced to set a statutory 15mph law when passing horses.

Earlier this year, horse carriage master Mark Evans was injured and his horse Wil was killed after being hit by a car as he pulled a funeral cortege in Wales. The tragic case received national media attention and prompted petitions calling for greater protection from the Government for horse riders.

Road accident victims often require long-term support

At Hudgell Solicitors, we see the devastation often caused by careless driving and misjudgements of drivers behind the wheel. People can be left needing life-long support and treatment, and in some cases, errors in judgement can prove fatal.

Our personal injury compensation specialists have also supported many people who have fallen from horses, falls which often leave the individual with serious injuries which can have a long-term impact on their day-to-day life, or result in long periods off work.

Given the statistics, we agree that the introduction of clear guidance and legislation for drivers relating to horse-riders should help reduce the number of casualties.

Horses are prone to being nervy and bolting, and a revving engine, loud music, or beeping of a car horn could result in serious injury to a rider, horse, motorist or a passer-by.

Perhaps it is time for Government took greater notice of the worrying increase in accidents and injuries on the roads relating to horse riders, and took steps to ensure new laws are both incorporated into the Highway Code, and adopted by motorists from the moment they pass their tests.

What Our Clients Say

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Becci was amazing"

Becci was amazing, she was so friendly and helpful and couldn’t have done a better job at helping me with my claim. Very happy.

Katherine JanineNovember 08, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Quick honest service"

Quick honest service, smooth process with excellent staff

MR COOPEROctober 30, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"HUDGELL SOLICITORS are great lawyers…"

HUDGELL SOLICITORS are great lawyers whit amazing customers service. I got pretty good deal only because of them I'm quite happy I chose Hudgell solicitor.

DominikOctober 30, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Good all round service"

Good all round service

John AndrewOctober 19, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Efficient"

Quick, efficient service provided by Jayne Woodock. Would definitely contact Hudgell Solicitors again in the future if the need arises

KerryOctober 10, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Thank you"

I have never had to go down the route of claiming for anything like this so when I was advised to do so I did some research and Hugell Solicitors caught my eye. And I’m so glad I picked them, everything was explained well and helped with any questions I…

ZoeOctober 04, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"No problems from start to finish for my…"

No problems from start to finish for my claim.Kept updated regularly and a good outcome even though the defendants were being evasive. Thanks.

r3monkeyOctober 03, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent"

Very professional,efficient service,informative and friendly service. I would highly recommend Hudgell solicitors.

HelenOctober 01, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Good experience"

Good experience

Margaret ElizabethAugust 31, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent"

Friendly, helpful and professional.

M J JAugust 09, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"I would recommend this firm of…solicitor to anyone"

I would recommend this firm of solicitor to anyone I have had a 5 star treatment from Jayne woodcock I cant praise her enough she kept me informed every step of my claim and I cannot thank her enough excellent Jimmy Mcdermott

Jimmy McJuly 28, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Very helpful and thorough"

Very helpful and thorough. The team kept me updated throughout. Thank you

EsmeJuly 25, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Couldn’t fault Hudgell Solicitors."

Couldn’t fault Hudgell Solicitors. They were professional, pleasant informative and helpful and got a result which was better than I had ever expected. When Becci left the practice and Alex took over my claim it was a seamless change over, indicating a personel strength in depth. Thank you.

Vic.July 24, 2019