WGAL has a story, viewable above, featuring an interview with a man named Jason McClune. McClune’s sister suffered a serious brain injury when an Amish family’s horse got loose and hit a van she was traveling in, head-on.

In the video McClune suggests that if the horse were wearing a reflective vest, it would have prevented the accident.

We’ve discussed reflectors on buggies many times. Reflectors on the horses themselves is something I’ve haven’t thought much about–probably because horses rarely run free on roads.

So you might consider the accident involving McClune’s sister a freak occurrence. At the same time, an Amish woman also interviewed admits that some horses are simply hard to control. “You still always have wilder horse than some, you know,” she explains, “and some that just don’t like to stop at stop signs.”

I’ve witnessed this myself…and if you ask Amish people, you’ll find that yes, of course some horses are simply more roadworthy than others. Some owners will attempt to train trickier beasts. Others don’t have the patience or time, and simply upgrade to a better, more reliable model, so to speak.

Still, it doesn’t seem that horses running about on their own is something that would happen very often. A wild horse that takes off with a buggy attached, while out of control, is presumably still visible due to the lights and reflectors of the buggy.

It also seems that if you wanted the reflector-on-horse idea to work, they’d have to be wearing vests at all times. After all, no one can predict when a horse might get loose. That raises practical questions concerning the comfort and health of the animal.

I can’t imagine the trauma this young woman and her family have undergone due to this accident. While the spotlight is usually on Amish victims, English people can also be injured and killed in accidents involving horse-drawn vehicles.

But I’m not so sure about reflective vests on the horses, though perhaps other steps could be taken to improve safety. McClune feels that sooner or later, “something should happen” to prevent this sort of accident occurring again.

What do you think?

You might also like:

Get the Amish in your inbox

    Question on the Amish? Get answers to 300+ questions in 41 categories at the Amish FAQ.