The hazard perception test is a critical part of the overall driving theory test, as it assesses a candidate’s ability to anticipate and respond to potential hazards while driving. It is a fundamental skill for any driver, and it is essential that new drivers have this ability before they get behind the wheel.
The driving theory test is divided into two parts: the multiple-choice section and the hazard perception section. The multiple-choice section consists of 50 questions that cover a range of topics, including road signs, traffic regulations, and basic driving skills. The hazard perception section is the second part of the driving theory test, and it is designed to test a candidate’s ability to recognize and respond to potential hazards on the road. The test consists of 14 video clips, each of which lasts about a minute. The candidate must identify and respond to any hazards that may arise in the video clips.
The hazards that may be present in the video clips can vary widely. Some of the most common hazards include pedestrians crossing the road, other vehicles changing lanes, and unexpected road conditions such as potholes or debris. Candidates must respond to each hazard as quickly as possible by clicking a button on the computer screen.
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The scoring system for the hazard perception test is based on the speed and accuracy of the candidate’s responses. Candidates can score up to five points for each hazard that they correctly identify and respond to, with a maximum possible score of 75.
The hazard perception section makes up 50% of the overall theory test so its essential that candidates prepare adequately. It’s important to understand what the examiners are looking for as well as practice on hazard clips.
During the test, you’ll be shown 14 clips and you will be required to click the mouse, every time you see a hazard. Simple enough, right? But what counts as a hazard? A potential hazard is described as anything that may cause a driver to change speed, direction or stop, and something you need to be aware of. A clip can contain more than one potential hazard but only one (or occasionally two) of them will become, what is referred to as, a ‘developing hazard’. This is where a hazard is progressing and you will need to take action. You can click every time you see a hazard but make sure you click again if you start to see it develop. Now that you understand how the test is scored, you might be tempted to click continuously however, the DVSA algorithm is wise to this and if you do continuously click then it will result in a fail.
One of the best ways to prepare is to familarise yourself with the types of clips you’re likely to see in the test. To help you work out when to click to get the highest score we have some clips from the James May Theory Test app. James talks through what to look out for and when to click for each of the hazards to help you understand how to get the best score.
Develop your hazard recognition skills with real practice clips within the app. Download here.
The hazard perception test lasts for approximately 20 minutes.
You have a maximum of five seconds to respond to each hazard in the video clip. If you click the mouse button before the five seconds have elapsed, the test will not register your response. Therefore, it is essential to remain alert and respond quickly to any potential hazards.
No, you cannot skip a hazard and come back to it later. Once you have clicked the mouse button to respond to a hazard, you cannot change your answer or go back to the previous hazard. Therefore, it is essential to assess each potential hazard quickly and respond appropriately.
If you accidentally click the mouse button during the video clip, the test will register your response, even if there is no hazard present. Therefore, it is important to remain calm and focused during the test and only click the mouse button when you have identified a potential hazard.