Road Safety And Animals

As the bad weather of winter approaches, we wanted to share some stats with you to highlight the need for road safety. Tragically each year many horses and riders lose their lives on roads around the country. In 2012, 183 road traffic incidents were reported to the British Horse Society and included:

  • 2 rider fatalities
  • 12 severe rider injuries
  • 14 horse fatalities
  • 3 severe horse injuries

If you come across a horse and rider on the road, or a horse and cart, please slow down and pass as slowly and as wide as possible when passing. Equally, please do not rev up your engine or use your horn and turn your radio down!

Similarly in the New Forest, ponies are still killed regularly by inconsiderate drivers.  Animals are unpredictable, easily spooked and will often panic at the sight and sound of a vehicle. They may wander onto and cross a road without any thought for the traffic. If there are warning signs, please obey them, slow down and be alert. If you do see an animal on the road, please proceed with caution, approach slowly and be prepared to stop suddenly. Dark and inclement weather makes this even more important.

Statistics of animal deaths on the road for last year in the New Forest were:

  • 54 ponies
  • 17 cows
  • 1 sheep

So if you are going to the New Forest for a holiday or otherwise, please be animal aware.  The animals do have access to the roads and will be wandering around and on them. Sadly, the rate of fatalities goes up considerably in July during peak holiday season.

If you would like to find out more, you can find rules about animals on the road in the Highway Code here.


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