Hazard Perception Test

Welcome to HazardPerceptionTest.net. The Hazard Perception Test is part of the UK Theory Test administered by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) and takes place straight after the multiple-choice section of the test. Taking and passing the Theory Test is a prerequisite for taking the practical driving test and obtaining a full UK driving license. It is often regarded as the more challenging aspect of the theory test as a whole so we have set up a Hazard Perception Test online resource which offers free mock tests, a detailed guide about how the Hazard Perception Test works and fantastic tips for passing the test.

Free Hazard Perception Test Clips (2 CGI and 2 Real Life Videos)

Hazard Perception Test Practice (Full-Length Mock Tests)

Hazard Perception CGI Clips (8 Premium Videos)

Hazard Perception Standard Clips (120 Real Life Videos)

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What is hazard perception?

Introduced in 2002, the hazard perception test aims to assess the students in the areas of anticipation, scanning and hazard recognition. It measures a person’s ability to spot and react to things happening either on the road or the footpath. It’s important that you spot and react to these hazards before you’re required to take emergency action to avoid them. Normally, experienced drivers negate hazards by spotting and reacting to them as early as possible, rather than continue to head into a dangerous situation, which would leave them no option but to aggressively brake or swerve.

 

Why has the hazard perception test been introduced?

The hazard perception test was introduced for the following reasons:

  • Young and newly qualified drivers alike are disproportionately involved in a higher percentage of collisions and are more likely to be the party at fault.
  • The ability to spot and react to hazards is one of the biggest differences between newly qualified and experienced drivers.
  • Through specific hazard perception training, new and inexperienced drivers can increase their hazard perception skills to that of a more experienced driver.

The test essentially serves two purposes:

  • It ensures all learners have studied hazard perception.
  • The progression from learner to license holder can be slowed down, meaning any learners whose hazard perception skills are lacking are given more time to hone them.

Research suggests the hazard perception element of the theory test has helped reduce accidents in the first year of driving. The 2009 statistics, which compared drivers who had and hadn’t taken the test, indicate a reduction in incidents of between 0.3% and 3%,

To put this into perspective:

  • There were 163,554 incidents reported in 2009.
  • Over 42,000 of those involved at least one driver aged between 17-24.
  • Applying the 2009 statistics to these numbers would see a number of traffic accidents fall between 126 and 1,260 per year.

Hazard perception skills aren’t only important when it comes to passing your theory test, they’re a major part of everyday driving after you pass the test.

 

What is a developing hazard?

A developing hazard is a situation that may require the driver to alter their speed or direction, in order to avoid the hazard. Developing hazards change over time and may start out as a nonthreatening situation, but over time, can develop into a situation that requires the driver to take action in order to avoid a collision. A developing hazard could develop over the space of ten seconds or more.

For example:

Whilst driving by a school you notice an ice cream van parked nearby. You should immediately be mindful of children nearby who may run across the road to the van or come out from behind the van. When approaching a situation like this you should be extra vigilant when looking for hazardous activity and slow down to give yourself more time in case of an emergency.

A developing hazard usually changes in a way that’s predictable. Some events are, of course, unpredictable and neither ourselves or the DVSA expect drivers to be able to predict all hazards. However, the majority of hazards are predictable. You’re expected to watch out for and spot early warning signs that a predictable hazard is developing. This type of hazard could require you to react sooner.

Good drivers are always assessing the situation around them, this includes identifying where the biggest threat is coming from and taking any action necessary to stop or limit that threat. The action a driver may have to take could be slowing down, selecting a different gear, covering the brakes, signalling, taking a different line around a corner, waiting or accelerating away from danger.

During the test, you will be expected to indicate that you’ve spotted any early warning signs, which may require action, but you won’t be expected to explain how you would have dealt with the developing hazard. You can indicate you’ve spotted a developing hazard by clicking the mouse, remember that the position of the cursor isn’t important, as you just need to indicate you’ve spotted something that may develop into a hazard, not where the hazard is.

 

How does the hazard perception test work?

To complete this part of the theory test you will be required to view and respond to 14 video clips. The clips usually last for about a minute. While watching the clips imagine that you are the driver, as this is the angle you’ll be viewing from. Your test is scored out of 75 points overall. The most points you can score by spotting a hazard are 5. There are 13 video clips with 1 hazard in them and one clip has 2 hazards in it. You need 44 points to pass. Just like in the olden days of cinema, these clips have no sound.

You will have a mouse to respond to the developing hazards. Whenever you think you see a hazard developing you can respond by clicking on the mouse, either using the left or right button. Ultimately how quickly you respond to a developing hazard will determine the score you receive for each clip. The faster you respond the more points you score, so, whenever you see something that you think is developing into a hazard or even could develop into a hazard, it’s extremely important that you click your mouse as quickly as possible. It’s just as important that you respond each time the hazard develops, because, if you respond before the DVSA deem it to be a hazard you’ll receive a score of zero. So, just to be on the safe side, respond to each development.

The first click recorded after the situation becomes a developing hazard is the one used, so, as long as you don’t click repeatedly, you won’t receive any penalties for clicking more than once. Remember that the position of the cursor isn’t important, as you just need to indicate you’ve spotted something that may develop into a hazard, not where the hazard is.

Prior to the start of the exam, a short video will play on the computer. This is an introductory video explaining how the hazard perception test works and how to respond in order to complete it. This is the video that will be played, so you can watch it and become accustomed to it:

Once the video has finished you’ll have the option to start the test or to view the video again.

Each of the video clips will start with a frozen frame and a countdown timer that starts at 10. The clip will begin once the timer reaches zero and then you’ll be required to respond to each developing hazard you see in the clip.

To let you know that the computer has recorded your response to a clip a red flag will appear each time you respond to a clip, these flags will appear over a grey banner. Once the clip you’re watching is over the flags relating to that clip will disappear too. At the end of each clip the screen will go blank for a few seconds, then the freeze frame of the next clip will appear and the countdown timer will commence, giving you time to prepare for the next clip. This will be repeated for each of the 14 clips.

Each clip will contain several potential hazards, but only the hazard that develops into a real hazard and will involve other road users will be marked because this is what’s known as a ‘developing hazard’. With this in mind, you’ll only be scored if you respond to these hazards before they develop fully and start to interfere with other road users. When a hazard fully develops the driver will perform a manoeuvre to avoid an accident. This could be slowing down, swerving or stopping.

Make sure you watch every film all the way to the end, this is especially important considering one of the clips has two hazards. So, even if you have seen and responded to a hazard, keep focusing until you see the gap between clips.

 

How is the hazard perception test marked?

There’s a window of which you can be scored for responding to a hazard and there are fairly clear starting and finishing point to these windows:

  • The start of the window is usually when the developing hazard first becomes visible to the naked eye.
  • The end of the scoring window is when it’s too late to respond to the hazard safely.

The time in which you can score is divided into 5 equal parts. Using your mouse to respond during this time could earn you a score of between 1 and 5, depending on how quickly you spot and respond to the developing hazard, and therefore where you end up on the scoring chart. Any response before the first frame or after the last won’t be counted.

A number of experienced drivers and instructors have had trouble with the hazard perception test, as their keen eye recognises a developing hazard before it is fully visible. This often results in a response before the window to score begins. Unfortunately, the subject matter is subjective and when the window of time for scoring begins and ends cannot be boiled down to an exact science.

The scoring window usually begins when the when the hazard first becomes visible, although in some cases, it starts when a driver may be able to tell if something is likely to develop into a hazard, even before its fully evident.

 

How can I avoid being accused of cheating?

The software the test runs on can detect cheating in the form of someone continuously clicking the mouse with the hope of scoring within the hazard window. If the software detects that you’re cheating you’ll be awarded zero points. If the test couldn’t detect this type of behaviour, anyone could get full marks by constantly clicking the mouse, so it’s no surprise the DVSA have thought of something to try and combat this.

There is a limit to the amount of clicks allowed per clip. However, the allowance far exceeds the amount of perceivable hazards per clip. If the software does detect that you’re cheating, a message will appear at the end of the video clip saying irregular clicking activity was detected during the last clip and for this reason you’ll receive a score of zero for that particular clip. The software doesn’t run these checks while a hazard is actually developing, so you can click multiple times when you see a developing hazard but, as stated before, only your highest scoring click will count.

 

How can I be sure that I will pass?

In order to score as many points as possible in each video clip, you must respond to the developing hazard as early on in its development as possible and respond again if:

  • The hazard further develops, becoming more serious or obvious.
  • If the nature of the hazard changes, possibly due to extra vehicles or pedestrians becoming involved.
  • If you feel more and more that you may need to take action to avoid a collision.
  • If you find yourself searching for the brakes.

We cannot stress enough that it’s developing hazards you need to respond to. For example, although an empty parked car is a hazard that you’ll need to negotiate, just this parked car alone isn’t a developing hazard. If you were to see a car parked in the distance, with its brake lights and indicators on, this is an indication that the driver could well intend on pulling, which would make the situation a developing hazard. Do your best to only respond to things that are or could be developing hazards, while limiting the number of times you respond to static hazards.

We should also reiterate that it’s crucial that you stay focused until the end of each clip. Focus and use your own intuition to deduce if and when a hazard could develop.

Do not cheat and be careful not to respond in such a way that the test software could misinterpret it as cheating.

Be very observant when you’re watching the video, in particular, you should look out for road signs, pedestrians, cyclists and small movements or changes. Any one of these could make you aware of a developing hazard.

Although it’s important to be aware of everything that’ happening on the screen, focus your attention more directly on the part of the screen where you think a hazard is most likely to develop. If you only concentrate on the view directly ahead, there’s a good chance you could miss an important clue.

Please read this article for some more fantastic hazard perception tips.

 

What is the hazard perception test pass mark?

  • The hazard perception test pass mark for cars and motorcycles is 44 out of a possible 75. There are 14 clips in total with 15 hazards. The test lasts approximately 20 minutes.
  • The pass mark for drivers of large vehicles is 67 out of a possible 100. There are 19 clips in total with 20 hazards. The test lasts approximately 25 minutes.
  • The pass mark for driving instructors is 57 out of a possible 75. There are 14 clips in total with 15 developing hazards. The test lasts approximately 20 minutes.

To pass the theory test overall, however, you must pass both the hazard perception and theory parts of the test. Passing just one part won’t do, regardless of the score you received for it. If you fail one part of the test you’ll need to take both parts of the test again to complete it.

 

Your test result

After you finish the test you’ll have the option to fill in a customer care survey. However, you’re not obliged to complete the survey.

Next, you’ll be directed to the exit and to receive your score for both parts of the theory test within 10 minutes of finishing the test.

 

Failed Hazard Perception?

If you’ve failed your hazard perception test, there’s no need to panic or worry at all. It is deemed the more difficult component of the theory test, so may take more than one go to successfully get the hang of it. If you have failed, we recommend that you make use of all the resources on this website if you haven’t done so already, and read the hazard perception tips carefully.