The weather is getting nicer which means there are more people out on the road driving, walking, running, riding… We have many equestrians in our area and most drivers seem to be courteous when approaching them on the road. Unfortunately, there are fewer trails around than there were 20 years ago which translates to equestrians having to use the roads more to reach a trail. Please use caution when passing a horse since they can spook easily. Here is a section from the Massachusetts Drivers Manual for guidance.
Always give the right-of-way to an animal that someone is leading, riding, or driving. Animals are easily scared by motor vehicles. When you get near an animal or horse-drawn vehicle, be careful and do the following.
• Slow down.
• Stop if the animal or vehicle is coming toward you or is crossing your path. Allow the animal to pass.
• If the animal or vehicle is traveling in the same direction as you, allow plenty of room for passing safely. Drive at a reasonable speed.
• Do not honk your horn or make a loud noise.
• If the animal you are passing looks scared, you must pull your vehicle to the side and stop.
• Proceed only when it is safe.
• You must stop if a rider or driver signals you to do so.
The law applies to horses, cows, and any other draft animals.
In rural areas, take extra care when passing hay rides. These are usually animal drawn and full of passengers.