Driving Etiquette Around Horses
Horseback riding a classic pastime in Wyoming and has played an important role in our state’s history and growth. It’s not uncommon to see riders along rural roads or even riding through town on your daily commute. But even for native residents of Wyoming, the rules of the riding on the roads may not be fully clear. Should riders be on paved roads? Do drivers need to yield to horses?
Rules for Drivers
As a general rule, drivers should always practice defensive driving and try to keep as safe as possible when on the road, both for themselves and for others. This extends from the everyday cyclist to horseback riders. However, there are no hard and fast rules about horses on roadways in the Wyoming driving manual.
Luckily for confused drivers, there are several safety tips you can follow when you spot a horse on the road:
- When approaching a horse, lower your speed, whether or not they have a rider
- Pass slowly to avoid startling them and give them a wide berth
- Avoid honking, revving your engine, or any loud noises
- Make eye contact with the rider and keep an eye out for any hand signals
- Slowly speed up after you have safely passed them
- Horses may make sharp right turns due to their size, so be prepared to stop to avoid a collision
Remember, even when they have riders and are domestic, horses are still large, fast animals that can react violently when startled or scared. Respecting their space will keep them, their rider, and you safe.
Rules for Riders
In turn, riders are also expected to obey all the rules of the road as drivers and take every precaution to avoid a collision. Before bringing a horse onto a road, it should be properly trained, and the rider should be experienced. If possible, avoid the road altogether and stick to horse trails.
But we understand that there are situations where you might have to ride into a town or on a country road, so we advise riders to:
- Avoid riding in the evening or at low light
- To wear reflective clothing so drivers can easily spot you
- Travel with the flow of traffic and to the side of the road at all times
- Avoid busy and fast roads, especially highways
- Maintain eye contact with oncoming drivers so they can clearly see you
- Never ride more than two-abreast
- Always keep your hands on the reins
At the end of the day, no one wants to be involved in a horse accident, especially between a car and a rider. Either side of the situation can suffer severe injuries, costly medical bills, and traumatic memories of the event.
But when you are in an accident in Wyoming, reach out to the Gillette car accident attorneys at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. We have experience with a range of traffic collisions in our great state and have a thorough understanding of liability laws. We can help you uncover if negligence was involved in your accident and how you can recover compensation. Call us at (307) 257-7800.
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