Holly Bogucka was driving her milk tanker on a narrow lane in Lancashire on 31 October when she suddenly came across the two riders.
She told H&H she used to ride and own a horse and knows there are a number of yards in the area, so she was on the alert for horses on the road.
“I was driving really slowly, ready to stop, and keeping an eye out for cars because they come round the corners so fast — then there I was, nose to nose with these horses,” she said.
“They were immaculately turned out and in full high-vis, but I just couldn’t see them over the hedge. I thought ‘Oh my god, there’s going to be an accident here’, but the horses didn’t blink, I couldn’t believe it.”
Holly was able to reverse to allow the riders to get off the road into a driveway, then waited till the horses were happy and facing her before she drove past slowly.
But she believes that had the riders had high-vis on their hats, she would have been able to see them, and stop, earlier.
“It was dark and overcast that day, and the hedges had been cut but they’re thick,” she said. “The height I’m at in my cab, I can see over the hedges, and I think then I’d have seen them and been able to stop before the bend. These riders had done absolutely everything right, it was just bad luck.”
Holly said as a teenager, she did not like wearing high-vis, but now as a professional driver, she realises its importance.
“I wouldn’t go on the roads without it now,” she said. “You’ve got to give yourself every chance, it’s so important.”
Holly posted about the incident on the Pass Wide and slow Facebook group, to flag the benefits of high-vis hats, and said the response was very positive.
“People were saying they hadn’t realised what difference a high-vis hat band could make,” she said. “I’m so happy if I’ve made a difference. The two ladies themselves are in the group and they’ve said they’ll buy hat bands now. I said hopefully I’ll see them again — and a bit sooner next time!”
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