The Hazard Perception Test Explained

The hazard perception test was introduced to help reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. The aim of the hazard perception test is to try and improve the ability of scanning the road and spot when a potentially dangerous situation may appear. The earlier it can be seen the earlier you can create a plan and reduce the risk of being in an accident.

How the Hazard Perception Test Works

With the hazard perception test you will be shown a series of video clips on a computer. In each clip there will be one developing hazard with one video clip showing two developing hazards. You respond to a developing hazard by clicking the mouse button.

The earlier you respond to a developing hazard the more points you score on that clip. The maximum number of points you can score each time is five. The longer it takes you to respond the fewer points you score.

When to respond to a developing hazard

Imagine watching a video clip in which you’re driving along a road and see a cyclist in the distance. When you first see the cyclist if you clicked now you would not score any points.

If the cyclist then looks over their right shoulder this may signal to you that they are looking to move to their right. The cyclist has now gone from a potential hazard to a developing hazard. As the scene continues the cyclist starts to move out to the right causing you to slow down. Another response at this point would score you points. Remember, the sooner you respond now the more points you score.

How the scoring works

Each clip has a maximum of five points and you score points by responding when the hazard would involve some input from you as the drive, such as causing you to slow down or change direction. The sooner you respond the more points you score.

It’s possible to score zero points by either responding too late or clicking too often. The software used in the test is designed to look for patterns in your clicking to avoid cheating. If you click too often the software will display a message to say that you have scored nothing for that clip.

Unlike the multiple choice part of the theory test you can’t review your answers. You only have one chance to respond to a developing hazard on each clip. Make sure you are paying attention.

When booking your theory test you should make sure you book through the official government site. Some websites will charge you more for booking it so make sure you don’t pay more than you need.