‘The worst day of my life’: BHS releases emotive new road safety film

A new video featuring the devastating impact losing a horse in a road accident has on those around them has been released by the British Horse Society (BHS) to help educate drivers.

Laura Thorogood lost her mare, Angel, three years ago when the pair were hit by a car travelling at 53mph.

The safety video has been launched in support of road safety week (18 to 24 November) as part of the BHS’ “Dead? Or Dead Slow?” campaign.

Laura is part of Canewdon Equestrians, which was formed after the accident, and has lobbied for three years to get the speed limit lowered on the stretch of road in Essex where the accident happened.

Last month, the group was told the limit would be cut from 60mph to 40mph.

“Although a number of years have passed, the pain of losing Angel in such tragic circumstances still remains very prominent to this day in my mind,” said Laura.

“It was, and will remain, the worst day of my life. If anything can be learned from our message highlighted in this video, and in addition to the ‘Dead? Or Dead Slow?’ message, it would be to take it slowly on country lanes in order to increase your reaction time and to ‘think bend’.

“I cannot emphasise enough the importance of the fact that our roads are shared by all vulnerable road users. Everyone’s safety is paramount.”
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The key messages of the campaign are to slow to a maximum of 15mph when passing horses, be patient, pass wide and slow, and drive slowly away.

“Incidents similar to the one highlighted in the video are sadly becoming a reality for many equestrians across the country,” said BHS director of safety Alan Hiscox.

“The aim of this video is to clearly demonstrate the devastating impact these incidents can have on riders and horses.

“If drivers adhere to our ‘dead slow’ key messages by slowing down and allowing enough space between themselves and the horse, then we can help bring this incident rate right down.”

The BHS urges all riders or carriage drivers to report all incidents they are involved in, regardless of severity, to the BHS’s horse accidents website.

A total of 3,737 road incident have been reported to the site since November 2010. In the same time frame, 43 people and 315 horses have died as a result of road incidents.

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