As spring approaches, horse owners begin to gear up for their upcoming horse show season. In addition to the equestrians in the Crystal River area, many will be loading up their trailers to head to facilities like Florida’s World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Florida.
A truck towing a horse trailer can have the same handling challenges of a large semi, with the added knowledge that beloved animals are riding along in the trailer. With more horse trailers on the road, it is essential to know what to watch for and to navigate near these vehicles safely.
Here’s what you should keep in mind when you’re driving around horse trailers this spring and summer.
Increased stopping distance
Vehicles with large loads take longer to stop, often twice as long as a typical car. When it comes to a horse trailer, the driver is thinking about both the handling of the trailer and the safety of the horses.
A truck towing a horse trailer often carries over 10,000 pounds which has a significant impact on its stopping distance. If you need to pass a truck hauling a horse trailer, be sure to give them plenty of room. You should also be aware of what is happening in front of you to avoid a situation where you need to stop quickly.
Watch for bad road conditions
Adverse driving conditions can turn an otherwise safe drive into a fatal one. Slippery roads can be dangerous for ordinary cars and trucks. A slick road can quickly lead to disaster for people towing horse trailers.
It is always best to give people with horse trailers plenty of room on the road, but it is even more important when the road conditions are bad. If you notice rain, wind or other problematic situations, try to give people towing horse trailers the space they need to see you and navigate their vehicle safely.