The Hazard Perception Test is set by DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency), a government body in the UK. It’s a critical component of the driver’s licensing process, designed to evaluate an individual’s ability to identify and respond to potential hazards on the road. It challenges drivers to demonstrate their situational awareness and decision-making skills in a controlled environment, typically through video simulations.

This article will explore, ‘what is the hazard perception test’, how it’s structured and, importantly, how to pass it successfully.

What is the Hazard Perception Test

What is The Hazard Perception Test?

The hazard perception test is part of the UK’s theory driving test. It’s a video clip of real driving situations. It’s designed to test your ability to identify potential road hazards by checking your reactions to potential road hazards using the computer mouse. This may include vehicles pulling out of space, pedestrians at zebra crossings, cyclists overtaking a parked car or animals darting across the road.

What Can You Expect From Taking It?

When you sit for the Hazard Perception Test, you can expect to be placed in front of a computer screen on which various driving scenarios will be played. You will be presented with fourteen video clips; each will last one minute. These clips often feature residential, rural and high-traffic urban environments where potential hazards may occur.

Though you can expect there to be at least one developing hazard in each clip, be advised that there will be one clip that will feature two hazards. The goal is to click your computer mouse as soon as you notice a hazard starting to develop. Your responses are recorded and scored accordingly, with earlier detections generally scoring higher.

What is The Hazard Perception Test Pass Mark?

To pass the Hazard Perception Test and demonstrate your competency as a safe and responsible driver, you must achieve a score of 44 out of 75. This scoring system ensures that you have effectively developed your hazard perception skills and are able to pass, highlighting the importance of both speed and precision in making critical driving decisions.

Three Tips to Help You Pass

Here are a few tips to help you pass the hazard perception test…

Stay focused:

Treat the test as though you’re actually behind the wheel of the car. Stay calm and avoid any distractions around you. Keep your eyes moving on the screen as they would on the road and react accordingly to any potential hazards you see.

Stay vigilant for signs of potential hazards:

Look to the road ahead for any clues that might suggest impending hazards on the road. These could be curves in the road, congested traffic, traffic lights, road signs, cyclists, a breakdown, vehicles pulling out or pedestrians at the zebra crossing.

React accordingly:

It’s important to stay alert and ready to respond swiftly to potential hazards. Anticipating the actions of other drivers and pedestrians will help you respond. However, don’t over-click, as this can cause the computer to not realise when you see a hazard, leading to a failed result. Therefore, ensure your responses are timely and reflective of genuine hazards.

Practice! Practice! Practice!

Before the hazard perception test, it’s crucial to familiarise yourself with the various common hazards encountered on different roads and in different environments. You can achieve this by practising with your driving instructor, who can provide practical insights and guidance on recognising potential hazards.

You can also practise parts of the theory online to reinforce your knowledge and improve your hazard perception skills. This combination of practical driving sessions and theoretical learning will provide comprehensive preparation for the test.