Watch for ponies

A sign warns drivers of an animal casualty ahead

Avoiding animal accidents

Animals have right of way over vehicles and it is the driver’s responsibility to slow down and give way to them. Most accidents involve local drivers who perhaps forget that one day a pony will step out in front of them.

Please observe the speed limits. Remember the risk is not just to the animals but to you as a driver, your passengers and your vehicle. Drive safely in the National Park … for everyone’s sake.

Remember that the animals do not understand that cars are dangerous. EXPECT THEM TO WALK IN FRONT OF YOU, give them a wide berth and be ready to stop! Even fully-grown ponies only have the road-sense of a two-year old child – and foals often walk across the road to their mothers.

Many collisions happen in the dark, so please be careful if you have to travel early or late in the day. Many wear reflective collars to make them more visible at night but watch out for those that don’t.

Remember that deer easily jump the fences alongside roads like the A337, A31 and A35. Some collisions on these faster routes have been fatal to people, so be alert wherever you drive in the New Forest.

Lastly, please carry an Animal Emergency Hotline Card with you in the car and display an 'I go slow for ponies' sticker for all to see. These are available from visitor information centres and petrol stations around the New Forest.

  1. Drive carefully
  2. Avoiding animal accidents (you are here)
  3. Animal emergency hotlines
  4. I go slow for ponies
  5. Deer road traffic accidents


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