Little-known Highway Code rule that says you should slow down to 10mph

Motorists are being urged to exercise caution this summer as the number of horse riders on the roads increases with the warmer weather. Swansway Motor Group has issued advice on how to safely share the road with horses.

Horses can react unpredictably to sudden noises or movements, posing a risk to both themselves and other road users. Swansway recommends: "Drivers should approach horses slowly and cautiously, giving them lots of room, per the Highway Code, this will help to keep the horse, the rider and drivers safe.

"Horses can be unpredictable, and sudden movements or noises can startle them, potentially leading to dangerous situations for the rider and the driver. Horses are vulnerable road users, and the Highway Code requires drivers to slow down to 10 mph when passing horses, maintaining at least two metres of space.

"This is crucial to prevent accidents caused by spooked horses, which can react unpredictably to perceived threats. Most comprehensive car insurance policies will cover the cost of a horse damaging a vehicle, provided it wasn't the driver's fault.

"Sudden changes in a driver's behaviour, such as sounding the horn or revving the engine, can cause a horse to panic and move erratically. Adhering to Rule 215 of the Highway Code by passing wide and slow is essential to ensuring rider and driver safety.

"In rural areas, where encounters with horses are more common, it's particularly important for drivers to be vigilant and patient. Awareness and caution can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and serious injuries."