HORSE riders are being urged to wear high-visibility clothing as the winter nights draw in.
The advice has been issued by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.
With the evenings getting darker much earlier a daylight ride could quite easily turn into a ride in the dark, officials say.
The warning comes as around one in six of all calls this year to the air ambulance were to help people who had been injured while out riding.
Paramedics say they are able to see someone up to half a mile sooner if they are wearing high-visibility clothing – and this could be crucial in saving someone’s life.
And officials said there are vast areas of open countryside and forest across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight which often makes the job of the air ambulance much harder when it comes to locating a patient.
John Perry, chief executive of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, said: ‘We’re advising anyone out riding this winter to make sure they are wearing clothing that can be seen from the air, to enable the air ambulance to locate them as quickly as possible if they get into trouble.
‘Even taking a piece of reflective material on the ride that can be draped over an injured person will significantly increase their visibility.’
The safety campaign is being supported by Hampshire Constabulary Country Watch and Hampshire Horsewatch.