U.K. Hazard Perception Test – What You Need to Know
The hazard perception element of the U.K. theory test was introduced in November of 2002. In order to try and lessen the worrying amount of accidents sustained by new drivers during their first year of driving in comparison to more experienced drivers, Government ministers authorised this element of the test in an attempt to raise new drivers awareness and anticipation of road hazards.
The Hazard Perception Test Format
Currently, the “H.P.” part of the theory test consists of fourteen video clips. All the clips will contain hazards, and the candidate will be scored on how quickly they identify the hazard. In order to pass this element, candidates must achieve a minimum of 44 points out of a possible 75. For every clip the top mark is 5, however on one film clip there will be two “scoreable” hazards and therefore 10 points are achievable on this. The test is generated on a computer screen and candidates need to click a mouse when seeing a hazard – please note the mouse does not need to be pointed at the screen to score points.
It is important to remember that every time the viewer sees a hazard develop, they click. It could easily be that candidates recognise more than one hazard in a clip but they do not know which one is the “scoreable” one, therefore, click at all recognised developing hazards. All the hazards currently used on the test are moving hazards.
Avoid random clicking or repeated “rhythm” clicks. The software used for the test will detect this and discredit the candidate’s response. If this happens, the candidate will receive no points for that clip. The current pass mark is 44 out of 75.)
There are many different ways to prepare for the hazard perception test. On practical lessons, driving instructors may ask you to identify potential hazards, and through effective scanning skills you can practice hazard recognition.
A number of software companies produce c.d. roms designed similar – but not exactly the same – as the official test clips. This helps students get used to the test format and most of these products offer feedback on test performance, showing where the hazards were located when replayed and displaying scores for each clip.
In more recent times Apps. are now easily available for smart phones and offer a portable practice solution.
A good indicator of h.p. test readiness can be gained through using the above resources. If however, scores achieved are falling below the test pass standard, more practice and help will be required. All good driving instructors can offer help and guidance in this regard.