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Report: 'Drive Safely In Amish Country' Pamphlet Created To Reduce Horse-Drawn Buggy Accidents

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LANCASTER, Pa. (CBS) — A new safe-driving pamphlet will be used to help prevent the alarming rate of crashes involving horse and buggy vehicles in Pennsylvania, according to a Penn Medicine report.

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The Pennsylvania Amish Safety Committee, the state Department of Transportation, and LG Health physicians via funding from The American Trauma Society have created the two-page pamphlet for local and out-of-state drivers who are typically unaware of how to safely maneuver with buggies and large farm equipment on the road.

Some of the instructions are listed below:

  • Slow down when approaching buggies, passing only when safe and leaving at least 20 feet in front of the horse before returning to the travel lane.
  • Leave more space between a car and buggy than you would between cars, enabling more time to react.
  • Refrain from blowing horns, which can spook even experienced horses.
  • Remain several feet behind a buggy when stopped because they tend to roll back.
  • Recognize that buggies may be lighted, but horses usually are not. At night, that can create potential for too-short passing zones or collisions when turning.

PennDOT data shows more than 630 accidents involving vehicles and horse-drawn buggies have happened during a 10-year stretch between 2007-2016, with a majority of the accidents taking place in Lancaster County.

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In addition, Lancaster General Hospital's trauma center has been faced with 90 buggy accident victims since 2015, according to the report.

The challenges in preventing injuries during these accidents are many buggies do not have seat belts, airbags, or other safety features, the report says.

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