There have sadly been more and more accidents occurring on UK roads involving cars and equines. In 2012, 165 accidents were reported. In 2020, the number increased to 1,010.
As the number of people driving in the UK increases with each generation as does the number of equines being ridden out on roads, from lack of alternatives such as bridleways, accidents are inescapable, and claims are inevitable for both motor and equestrian insurers.
With the recent pandemic, following the coronavirus outbreak, and the frequent lockdowns experienced in the UK, more and more people are looking to move to more rural areas to escape the concrete jungles and lack of outdoor space. Regrettably, this may result in more accidents, caused either by drivers inexperienced in driving on country lanes or first-time owners unfamiliar with on-road hacking or not controlling their new horses.
In March 2021, the South Yorkshire Police carried out an exercise to help to educate road users. Mounted officers, fully clad in high vis, took to the roads and, during their two-day planned exercise, stopped over 30 drivers. The vast majority of the drivers stopped were cautioned about their driving - a lack of awareness, overtaking too closely to the horses, or poor behaviour when passing the horses. Still, some drivers were stopped and thanked for their courteous behaviour.
To educate motorists, the UK’s theory test that precedes the driving test to gain a full licence now includes a section on how to pass equines safely. To raise awareness with riders, the British Horse Society also offers a road safety test, backed by the UK’s Department for Transport, which anyone may take over the age of 12.
Insurers are already offering discounts on premiums for the use of telematics installed in cars which aims to make the driver more aware of how they’re driving and, hopefully, more cautious and less likely to take risks. Perhaps, if not already being done, they could also help educate road users by including a leaflet in the packs they send to both new and existing policyholders, along with their premium details, which relates to either the British Horse Society road safety test or another similar source. Potentially, not only could this help to make our UK roads safer, but it could also help reduce the number of logged claims.
While equine-related accidents may sound unusual to some insurers, this type of accident in the UK highlights the need for localised marketing strategies. Find out how Axco can help you develop unique approaches to different markets.
1,010 road incidents involving horses have been reported to The British Horse Society