Hazard Perception Test

potential hazards whilst driving

As many students who are starting driving lessons have not had to worry about the type of hazards that are encountered when driving, this test has been added to introduce students to the hazards.

Of course you have seen and probably had to react to hazards when crossing the road, but you only have had to react for yourself, not whilst in control of a car.

Those of you who have ridden push bikes will also have had to deal with hazards, but your speed and manoeuvrability are still very different compared with controlling a car.

The aim of the test is to:
• Make you aware of the hazards you might meet when driving
• Help you to know where to look for them
• Identify which ones are of greater importance with a need to react to (prioritising)
• Improve your reaction time

The test consists of 14 video clips. The clips have been filmed from the windscreen of a car and cover nearly all the types of environments and conditions that you may one day have to drive in. These include towns and country roads, motorways, day and night, rain, fog etc. As you view the clip you have to click the mouse for each hazard you see as soon as you see it.

Each time you click the mouse a flag appears at the bottom of the screen to show that it has registered your click. There are number of hazards on each clip, but they score you for noticing progressing hazards.

an example of a hazard perception test video clip

In the distance is a zebra crossing, you would click the mouse for the crossing as it is a potential hazard. There are two pedestrians walking along the pavement on the left approaching the crossing and you may click the mouse to show that you have seen them, but at present they are not a hazard.

One of the pedestrians turns their head and looks over their shoulder at you, this is a clear indication that they are about to go onto the crossing, this is when the scoring window would open for you to get the marks. (You do not see this scoring window)

The way this clip would probably be scored might be:
“Click” just as the pedestrian turns their head to look at you - 5 marks
“Click” just afterwards - 4 marks
“Click” as both of them turn towards the crossing - 3 marks
“Click” just before they step off the pavement - 2 marks
“Click” just as they step off - 1 mark
“Click” when on the crossing - 0 marks

If you press the mouse at the 5 marks time and then press it again at the 3 marks timing your score will remain at the highest mark you clicked on for that clip. The clip would then continue to run and you need to continue pressing the mouse for all hazards as you see them as you will not know if you have identified the one that you will be scored on.

If you just keep pressing the mouse or quickly press it repeatedly, at the end of the clip you may get a screen saying you have not scored any points for that clip due to the way you have clicked the mouse, so practice is advisable. For each of the clips there is one hazard that you need to have identified, and on one clip there are two hazards, both of which you need to try to identify.

This means there are a total of 75 marks available to you with a pass mark of 44.

how to book your hazard perception test

When you book your theory test you are also booking the hazard test. The hazard test is taken after completing the theory test, on the same day as a follow on from the theory test.

When you have booked your theory and hazard perception test, let your Alpha Driving School instructor know. Your instructor will then, if you wish to, give you a commentary lesson, based on the police method. Here you can talk through the hazards you see as you are actually driving, and react to them.

You must pass both tests to successfully pass your theory test. At the end of both tests the examiner at the test centre will let you know if you have passed and print off your pass certificate. If you have not passed, they will give you a report on the two tests taken, showing which subject areas in the theory test you failed on, and what you scored for the clips on the hazard test.