With two near-misses while out horse riding, Anna Lane knows only too well the dangers posed by speeding cars.
The 23-year-old and the horses were lucky to escape unscathed after being hit by a car first in August 2012 and then again in November 2013.
She is now urging motorists to take on board the ‘Look Out for Each Other’ message that the road safety group Brake has put out as part of their annual campaign, which is backed by Rutland police. The campaign urges all road users to be aware of one another.
“It is an important message for every one, particularly vulnerable road users such as horse riders,” a spokesman for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership said.
According to the safety partnership, there are more than 2.4 million horse riders in Great Britain. There is an average of eight reported accidents involving horses every day with five riders killed each year.
Approximately half of the incidents occur on minor roads, where the average speed is between 40mph and 45mph.
Anna, who works as a groom at her parents yard in South Luffenham, said: “Last November I was on a young horse. A car that was overtaking caught the side of the horse. I don’t know quite how I managed to stay on it.
“The previous time the car was going so fast that he went under the horse and it landed on the bonnet of the vehicle.
“My first thought was for the horse, thankfully it managed to steady itself.”
Anna’s message to drivers is to “please be aware that horses are unpredictable”.
Anna said: “I know there are some riders who don’t have the courtesy to acknowledge motorists who wait, but we are not all like that. It is better for a driver to be five minutes late rather than cause an accident.”
Advice from police to riders includes:
l give clear and accurate signals to motorists;
l do not ride more than two abreast on the road and lead on the left of the road, with the horse on your left whether mounted or dismounted’;
lMake sure you can be seen by drivers.