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Be safe – be seen

   Words by RB Equestrian

   on 10/10/2017 09:34:19

‘High vis’ – two words that cause many riders to shudder, so unflattering to wear, or is it? Thanks to many great campaigns from the BHS, some very stylish new clothing ranges and support from the likes of Charlotte Dujardin and Lee Pearson,  high-vis has become fashionable as well as being an essential item to wear.

Bridleway Visibility Lightweight Exercise Sheet from RB Equestrian

The BHS have said that wearing high-vis makes you noticeable at least 3 seconds earlier than if you are not wearing it – at 30mph this is enough time for a car to cover the distance of the length of an average sized dressage arena and enough time to miss you and your trusty steed!

Nicola Fletcher, MD of Equisafety has researched a lot into the benefits of high-vis and how different colours can also make us more or less visible. Whilst yellow is in general the most popular colour to own (perhaps down to its easy availability) pinks and oranges are actually far better to wear both when hacking on a leafy road in bright sunshine or when it is foggy and misty. It is also best to ensure that your high-vis jacket also has reflective strips – this will make you most visible in fading light, a must as the mornings and evenings are now drawing in.

In 2016, the BHS launched their ‘Dead Slow’ riding campaign asking whether it best to be ‘Dead? Or dead slow?’ The team urged for drivers to slow down to 15mph when passing horses and since the website was launched, more than 2000 incidents were reported – 36 which resulted in a rider’s death. Off the back of this, in 2017 they launched a ‘Ride Safe’. The aim for this is similar to that of the cycling proficiency test: to educate riders before they take to the roads for the first time. The course covers:
1. Recognise common road signs
2. Understand rights of way
3. Negotiate hazards
4. Deal with conflicts with other road users
5. Negotiate obstacles

Be safe be seen from RB Equestrian

The hope is to help riders gain a better understanding of the highway code, especially those who do not yet drive and to help reduce the amount of dangerous driving and hence riding accidents occurring on the roads.

So let’s help make our roads safer – let's educate other riders, other drivers and road users and most importantly, not forget to wear our high-vis!

Be safe be seen

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