Conspicuity of horses and riders on roads

Published: Nov 2018


ISBN: 978-1-912433-07-0

Author: J Weekley, S Helman (TRL) & J Wann (RHUL)

Pages: 24

Reference: PPR845


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The literature on visibility and conspicuity was reviewed, in order that the best advice for horse riders could be provided with the aim of increasing their safety (and that of their mounts) when riding on public roads. The main scenario considered was that which occurs when riders are approached by motor vehicles from behind, often at speed. Research with horses and with other vulnerable road user groups (pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists) was included, and knowledge regarding the human visual system, in relation to object detection and judgement of approach, was considered. Three recommendations were made. First, speed limits on national speed limit roads with frequent equestrian activity should be reduced. Second, riders should choose to wear lights wherever possible, ideally in a pattern that highlights their width (lights on their shoulders and the flanks of their horse, for example). Third, in the absence of lights, riders should wear high visibility and reflective clothing, choosing a colour appropriate for their riding environment.

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