Driver training specialist IAM Drive & Survive is offering weekly motoring tips to drivers from its head of training, Simon Elstow. This week he is advising on sharing the road with horse riders.
- Horses are unpredictable, so don’t risk startling them by rushing up or making sudden noises when passing.
- Give them enough space: riders are reluctant to take a horse onto the verge, as long grass can hide a multitude of hazards.
- Horses don’t like being stood still for long periods of time. If you are stopped in a queue, give them plenty of fidgeting room.
- If you catch a horse up from behind, give it time to see you. This is even more important in a hybrid or electric car, which are quieter – they won’t like a surprise.
- In traffic, most riders won’t use the right hand lane to turn right, as this puts the horse between lanes of moving traffic.
- Respect the rider’s decision. Horses will often ride side by side on the road. This isn’t so their owners can have a chat – it is to protect less experienced, or nervous, riders and horses in traffic. In urban areas they will do this to claim some space.
Elstow said: “Summer sees more vulnerable road users on the road. They have as much right as car drivers to be there, but a lack of understanding puts them at risk. Many riders will try to communicate with you – make eye contact.”
To help drivers stay safe and enjoy their driving this summer, the IAM has a new website, drivingadvice.org.uk, with traffic updates, weather forecasts, and driving tips, including: driving abroad, cycling, coping with Olympic congestion, and loading the car for a long journey.