This is exactly the type of incident that PETA works to prevent. Seven people in Savannah, Georgia, were transported to the hospital after the driver of a horse-drawn carriage lost control, resulting in a crash. When will we finally ban these archaic hazards?
According to local news reports, the horse pulling the carriage got spooked by loud construction noises and began galloping uncontrollably. When authorities arrived at the scene, several humans and the horse were sprawled on the ground. As medics tended to the injured humans, the horse wandered off but was eventually captured by handlers.
— WJCL News (@WJCLNews) February 9, 2019
A real estate agent who works in downtown Savannah, where the crash occurred, posted her eyewitness account of the terrifying scene on Facebook:
“We ran down to try to help the situation, but the poor horse was spooked beyond control, took a corner too sharply and the whole carriage overturned. Every passenger ended up injured and the horse still hasn’t calmed down.”
This isn’t the first time that an accident involving a horse-drawn carriage in Savannah has sent people to the hospital, and it won’t be the last—unless the city joins others that have ended the practice of forcing horses to toil for tourism.
These disasters will continue to happen until we ban horse-drawn carriages.
Many injuries and even deaths to both horses and humans have occurred after the animals got spooked in traffic. In a split second, a horse can go from appearing calm and sedate to crashing blindly through busy streets in a panic.
They keep horses in upper floors of buildings?!
— PETA (@peta) March 26, 2015
Accidents aren’t the only problem with horse-drawn carriages. The industry has been under fire for violation after violation of laws, including ones concerning animal welfare. Drivers have been caught making horses work in 90-degree weather despite a mandatory heat suspension, drinking on duty, and forcing a horse to work for four days with a serious leg injury.
If you’re a tourist in need of transportation to explore a city, choose a human-powered pedicab, rent a bike from a bike-share service, or simply walk. A carriage ride may be a fleeting moment of entertainment for you, but it supports a lifetime of torment for horses. We’ve seen everything from pools of blood left by an injured horse forced to pull a carriage to a runaway horse who drowned in an icy river while attached to a sinking vehicle.
Don’t Be Taken for a Ride
Horse-drawn carriages are primitive hazards on 21st century streets. No amount of regulation can protect the public from the danger posed by horses’ tendency to become frightened and bolt. If you live in a city where carriage rides are still allowed, contact your local legislators and ask them to sponsor a ban. Many cities—including Biloxi, Mississippi; Camden, New Jersey; Key West, Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, and Treasure Island, Florida; and Salt Lake City—have already banned horse-drawn carriage rides.