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Horse Accidents – RTAs and Hit & Runs

Working in the legal profession I can see the pros and cons of social media but one thing that has been noticeable is the increase in the number of horse accidents and hit and run incidents that I have seen reported via facebook recently.

Stacey Chapman - Road Accident - Facebook Photo

The above photo was kindly provided by Stacey Chapman via Facebook. She witnessed this car accident on a country road whilst hacking her horse Revuelo near their home in Kent. Her horse understandably bolted from the scene but both were thankfully unhurt although shocked and shaken.

Slow Down on Country Roads Sign

 

In some cases the horse and rider involved are lucky enough to escape with minor cuts and bruises. However, in some cases the rider and the horse (or horses) are left with devastating injuries that can result in hospital stays, large vet bills which may or may not include the horrendous but often necessary decision to put a horse to sleep (PTS – put to sleep).

BHS Campaign – Dead? Or Dead Slow

BHS Dead-Slow Poster

The BHS have been running a campaign ‘Dead? or Dead Slow’ to try and highlight the risks to drivers and this has been supported by many police forces nationwide. ‘Think! Horses’ is the government’s attempt to raise awareness with links to excerpts from the Highway Code (http://think.direct.gov.uk/horses.html).

If you are involved in an incidents or accident then this can be reported on the BHS website:

http://www.bhs.org.uk/safety-and-accidents/report-an-incident

Social Media Campaigns

Social media campaigns for example @glowmeansslow try to highlight the need to wear hi-viz clothes whilst riding in order to increase the probability that riders and their horses can be seen by other road users including motorists. This is increasingly important given the increase in the number of vehicles using the roads and the lack of awareness or care demonstrated by some road users.

Hit & Run

However, some incidents would not have been avoided whether high visibility clothing was worn or not. A recent example on Facebook shows a video of a motorist driving straight into the back of a horse after following it for a little while through what can only be complete lack of attention or incompetence. The driver does not stop and leaves the scene with the jockey on the floor and the horse loose on the street.

In the corresponding write up it is clear that the horse has suffered life limiting, if not life ending, injuries which have resulted in substantial vet fees. The police response to this will be to charge the driver with ‘driving without due care and attention’ with a fine of £200 and 3 penalty points.

Other Campaigns

The HRSA (Horse Road Safety & Awareness) also run various campaigns to increase awareness of horses on the road and passing them safely. All offer great advice to both riders and other road users.

https://www.hrsa.org.uk/

HRSA - Pass Wide & Slow

The problem generally is that these different campaigns are unlikely to change the behaviour of the people who are the greatest risk to those of us who need to hack out on the roads.

What next?…

Do we need harsher penalties, fines & sentences for those who put the lives of others and their horses at risk?

 

How I can help

If you have been involved in an accident whilst riding then please contact me.

Free Initial Enquiry

Michael would be delighted to explain how he can help. For your free, initial enquiry, please: