Horse and vehicle incidents have almost doubled in the South East

Over the last year there have been more than 800 road safety incidents involving horses reported to the British Horse Society
Over the last year there have been more than 800 road safety incidents involving horses reported to the British Horse Society

Nearly two horses are killed each week on UK roads, shocking new statistics have revealed.

Last year, there were 60 road incidents in the South East reported to the British Horse Society, resulting in the death of four horses and one person.

The BHS collates statistics each year to understand the rate of incidents involving horses and riders on UK roads. These new statistics show incidents have almost doubled in the region compared to the previous year, according to BHS data.

In West Sussex, the number of incidents from measured from the start of March increased from three incidents in 2017-2018 to nine in 2018-2019.

It compared to 12 incidents in East Sussex, one of which was fatal for a horse.

In the last year, 845 incidents were reported to the charity, resulting in the tragic death of 87 horses and 4 people.

The charity has said almost three quarters of these incidents occurred due to vehicles passing by too closely and is urging drivers to be more careful when passing horses on the road.

The overall 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 BHS 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 one in ten 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.”

The campaign is asking drivers who encounter a horse on the road to:

Slow down to a maximum of 15mph

Be patient – do not sound the horn or rev the engine

Pass the horse wide and slow, (if safe to do so) at least a car’s width if possible

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.