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2010 press releases

Posted: 11/11/10

Careless driving is taking the joy out of riding, survey finds

Ninety per cent of regular horse riders feel drivers do not take enough care when passing horses on the road, according to research conducted by Petplan Equine, the UK’s specialist equine insurer, ahead of Road Safety Week (22-28 November).

The survey of over 1,700 horse owners also found that more than 40 per cent of respondents dislike riding on roads because of traffic, with a fifth saying they would like to do more hacking but don’t have sufficient access to the countryside.

Statistics released by the THINK! Campaign showed that in 2006, 123 horse riders were injured in road traffic accidents, three of whom were killed and 26 seriously injured. Of the road accidents voluntarily reported to the British Horse Society in the same year, 80 per cent occurred on minor roads.

Petplan Equine Marketing Manager Alison Andrew commented: “Riding is a wonderful hobby. It is good exercise, gets people out in the fresh air and many riders bond strongly with their horse, which adds to the pleasure of the sport.

“It is a great shame that riders are feeling vulnerable on our roads and we are calling on drivers to take extra care, particularly on some of the more minor country roads, to help ensure horse riders feel relaxed and stay safe.”

With winter fast approaching Petplan Equine has put together the following dos and don’ts to remind drivers how to respond when passing a horse:

Do

  • Reduce your speed as soon as you see a horse on the road
  • Pass a horse slowly, giving plenty of room
  • Watch out for a rider’s arm signals – they may stay in the left lane but be signalling to turn right
  • Treat horses (and other animals) as a potential hazard and be ready to stop

Don't

  • Dazzle a horse or rider with your lights
  • Sound your horn
  • Rev your engine or accelerate rapidly after passing a horse

It’s not just drivers who need to be more careful. Nearly 40 per cent of survey respondents felt riders should also show more consideration to other road users. In addition, over half of all respondents admitted to using their mobile phone whilst riding, with one fifth confessing to texting or tweeting while on horseback.

“Although it is always a good idea to carry a mobile phone with you when out hacking in case you run into difficulties, we strongly urge riders to stop, and ideally dismount, before making a call or texting,” Alison Andrew advised.

As part of Petplan Equine’s push for greater road safety this winter, they will be giving visitors to their stand at Your Horse Live 2010 on the 13th – 14th November at Stoneleigh Park Warwickshire a chance to win a high visibility Rockfish Gillet.

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For more information please contact the Petplan press office on:

Name Telephone Email
Tolu Akisanya 0208 580 8194 tolu.akisanya@allianz.co.uk
Carl Stephens 0208 707 8335 carl.stephens@allianz.co.uk

Petplan Equine is the UK's leading horse insurance provider offering a wide variety of flexible horse insurance and rider insurance policies which cater for all levels of experience.

Established more than 20 years ago, Petplan Equine is part of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the world.

For more information about a Petplan Equine horse insurance policy, please visit:
petplanequine.co.uk/insurance/quote.asp