Duty of Care and Accident Prevention


As in all walks of life accidents will occasionally happen but many may be avoided by following the guidelines below.


Duty of Care and Accident Prevention

  • NEVER take the bridle off while the equine is attached to the carriage.
  • An active and competent groom should be in attendance at all times.
  • Equine, harness and vehicle must be in sound condition and suitable for the activity and terrain.
  • When the equine is in harness and attached to the carriage, control must be maintained at all times either through the driver who will be on the box seat, or by the groom who will either hold the reins or a lead rope attached to the bit or under halter.
  • No passenger or groom should be on the carriage until the driver is on the box seat holding the reins.
  • The whip should be in your hand, not in the socket.
  • Before attending a group event ensure your equine is happy driving in company.
  • When driving in company never move off adjacent to a horse being put to, unless the driver is happy for you to do so.


On the road.

  • Vehicles on the highway must have red reflectors to the rear.
  • Avoid driving on the road after dusk. If unavoidable, reflective clothing and carriage signs are essential. Lights must be carried, white to the front and red to the rear between dusk and dawn.
  • Brakes are not compulsory on horse drawn vehicles, but if fitted they must be in working order. (Road traffic act 1998).
  • When driving in company ensure you leave sufficient distance from the turnout in front to allow for sudden stoppage.  When descending a slope, remember that all turnouts behind must be clear of the slope before anyone increases pace.
  • Alert other equines, ridden or driven, and pedestrians before passing slowly and with care.
  • Ensure that the Highway Code is always adhered to and that any signals given to other road users are as identified in the code.
  • At any rest stops, turnouts must have an attendant at all times.
  • Ensure spares and a phone are carried to support overcoming adverse event
British Driving Society

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