Hazard is anything that causes the driver/rider to change speed, direction or stop.
As an example -
It could be something like children playing on the footpath. This is called as potential hazard.
The situation could turn hazardous if one of the child starts to run across the road. This is called developing hazard.
If the driver/rider is aware of the children playing on the footpath, he/she is mentally prepared to take action if the potential hazard turns into actual hazard.
Hazard perception aims in scanning the road, recognising at the first opportunity from the clues that a potentially dangerous situation might arise and adopting a driving plan to reduce the risk.
Hazard perception test is the part of DSA driving theory test.
DSA has introduced hazard perception section in the test since 2002.
The aim of this test to prepare learner driver to anticipate the potentially dangerous situation might arise and adopting a driving plan to reduce the risk.
Inexperienced learner drivers are at risk of involving in road accidents especially during first few months after passing their test.
Hazard perception test is helpful in developing proactive (scan and plan) road sense.
Hazard perception test has been introduced in the driving theory test in aim to reduce road accidents involving new learner drivers.
Drivers you have taken hazard perception test training have much better hazard perception skills.
Due to lack of knowledge and understanding about the hazard test, many new learner drivers fail in the hazard perception test.
Many learner drivers are under impression that it is the very difficult to score good in hazard perception test.
If you understand the hazard perception test clearly it becomes easy to score good marks in this section of the driving test.
You need to understand how the hazard test works, what to look for, when and how to respond etc.
You can access 2 FREE hazard perception clips here. Register and access free official DSA questions and clips.
Select a package and access over 70+ online clips and all latest official theory
test questions. Packages
start from £1.99. pay now.
We have number of online interactive practice clips for practicing hazard perception
part of the driving theory test. These hazard perception clips
are to help you prepare for the hazard perception test. Access unlimited
mock hazard tests and score in this part.
Hazard perception test is a second part of the theory test and needs to be passed at the same time.
Aim is to integrate theoretical hazard perception test training into the practical
training sessions that would ensure that as competence is achieved in each of the necessary
skills. Skills can be strengthened and applied while you are on the road to increase
the road safety benefits.
In this part of the theory test you are shown 14 silent hazard video clips on the computer
screen of approximately one minute each. You are required to watch these clips as
if you were the driver. There will be 15 hazards to find - at least one on
each clip. But, one clip will have 2 hazards. The hazard perception test clips
will not contain any sound.
The clips feature everyday road scenes showing various types of hazard, such as weather conditions, junctions, schools, pedestrians and road
conditions etc. You should respond by pressing a mouse button as soon as you see a hazard
developing that may result in the driver having to take some action, such as changing
speed or direction. The earlier you spot the developing hazard and make a response, the higher the score.
Maximum marks you can score for each hazard is five and the test contains
15 hazards for scoring.
Whenever you think you can see a hazard developing, you should click either the left or right mouse button.
The time frame at which you click the mouse button as a hazard
develops will determine your score for that particular hazard perception clips.
You can score between 0 and 5 on each hazard.
The pass mark for this part of the test is 44 out of 75 (i.e. 15 hazards x 5) for
car drivers and motorcycle riders.
For the hazard perception test there are no separate versions for different vehicles, but the pass mark is different for them.
Those taking LGV or PCV (lorry or bus) tests must score at least 50 out of 75.
Candidates are given their results when they have finished both parts of the test
and have returned to the waiting room.
There will be a freeze frame at the start of each video clip, a count down from 10 would begin and hazard perception clip will start.
At the end of the count down the clip will start to play and you will be required to click the mouse button each time you see a developing hazards.
Red flag will appear on a grey strip across the bottom of the screen to let you know that the computer system has registered your click.
You will see one flag for each click you make.
At the end of the clip all the flags will be removed before you start the next clip.
An example of when to respond to identify hazard or hazards
Letís see an example of how to identify and respond the developing hazard:
You are driving on the road, you see a car is parked on the side of the road, car is stationary. It looks like a normal parked vehicle.
When you see such parked car and respond to it as if you spotted a hazard you will not score any marks neither you will lose any marks for it. That means you will be safe as per the scoring mechanism. This is a potential hazard. There will be lot many potential hazards on the road while driving. You would not be able to predict which potential hazard is going to change in developing hazard.
But as you drive ahead, you see parked car is showing right hand indicator.
The meaning of this indicator is driver sitting inside the car is showing the intention to move the vehicle. This is called as developing hazard.
If you respond as soon as you see red light flashing, you will get the full score for it.
Your response should be quick for the highest score.
The scoring window divided into five equalís parts. It depends upon your quick response. If you respond the first part you will score five marks and last you will score one mark. If your response outside the window you will score zero.
After some time, the car starts moving away from the side of the road.
Note at this time this potential hazard has turned in to actual hazard. At this point you must respond either by slowing down; changing direction etc, if you donít take appropriate action that would lead to any mishap on the road while actually driving.
If you click at/after this point of time the score will be less or zero.
The reason being you failed to identify the hazard in time. When you responded the hazard was actually a serious hazard
Each scoring window is divided into five equal segments and a score of five through
to one allocated to each. Those responding in the first segment of the scoring window
will score 5 and those in last segment a score of 1. Responses outside the window
will score zero.
The maximum score for each clip are 5 points. You will get the five marks only if you click on the mouse button in the first segment as soon as you see hazard is developing. If you click in the second segment of this window of time you will score 4 points, then 3, then 2 and then in the last segment just 1. This is exact to one twenty fifth of a second.
If you click the mouse button (this is how you inform the computer program that you have
observed a hazard) too early, before the potential hazard becomes what the DSA
term a “developing hazard”. Your score will be 0. Therefore to ensure
you get a maximum score in the hazard perception test, you should
fully understand the meaning of DSA term “developing hazard” as opposed to “potential
Potential hazards are road hazards that no quick action needs to be taken, but you should also pay attention to those in case they become actual hazards. Clicking on potential hazards is acceptable, but the scoring window only starts if that hazard develops.
Unlike multiple choice questions section, you won't be able to review your clicks to the hazard perception test.
If you click several times during this window of time the computer will always take
your highest score and record that for that particular clip.
If you don’t click the mouse button in this window of time you will score zero for that particular hazard.
If lots of unnecessary responses are made in a very short period of time, or throughout the clip, a zero score will recorded for that clip.
If this happens a warning message will be shown on the screen at the end of the
When the first video clip ends and the screen turns black for a few moments. The freeze frame of next video appears with countdown warning to get ready. This process is repeated till all 14 video clips in the test.
Avoid too many clicks in quick succession -
If you click in developing hazard time window and again click few times later you first click in the scoring window would be considered for the scoring.
You can click number of times you want in the hazard perception test but if you click too many times in quick succession then no marks will be given for that hazard. So you should not click continuously all the way through the clips.
You should pay attention and click minimum times as you recognize the developing hazard. Donít try to click too early to miss the opening window and click continuously to get the zero score for the particular clips.
Although each clip contains several potential hazard only the one that materializes
into a real hazard (any one clip will have 2 hazards) and involves other road
users is marked. This is known as a "developing hazard". Therefore you
will only receive a score if you spot a hazard before it fully materializes and
is brought about by the action of another road user. In a few instances it is difficult
to determine when a potential hazard becomes a developing hazard and therefore when
the scoring window should start.
This is why it is safer to click a few times as you see a hazard develop to make
sure you don't click too early and miss the opening of this window. But make sure you do not click continuously, if you do this you will score zero for that clip.
Every learner driver should relate hazard test with real life, it helps you to acquire the hazard perception skills of recognizing the hazard and take necessary further actions. This skill is must for every driver Ė car, bike, heavy good vehicle etc.
For this reason same version of the hazard perception test is used for all category of test.
Look for these hazards -
Pedestrians or cyclists crossing the road
Vehicles emerging from side roads, parking places or driveways
Large vehicles moving over to your side of the road
Meeting oncoming vehicles on narrow roads or where other obstructions
or slow moving vehicles make the road narrow
Loose pets and farmyard animals
Break lights of the vehicle in front
Changes in the traffic movement and volume
Road construction work
Vehicles joining from small junctions
Children playing near/on the road
Junctions and roundabouts
Weather conditions of the day - visibility, snow, wet roads
Please note - There is a revision question bank for the multiple choice section.
But DSA does not release the actual clips in the test for practise by student drivers.
This is because the aim of hazard perception test is to test a more intuitive knowledge, rather than answers learned by rote.
The aim is to include more hazard perception awareness in the driving lessons then actual independent driving once learner driver gets full driving license.
Many learner drivers are confident about multiple choice section of theory test, but get very nervous about the hazard perception section.
All you have to do is imagine that you are at the driver seat and driving on the road, how you would react to different situations on the road?
The clips would be shown on full screen computer screen, hazards are easier to spot.
Even if you spot them late, respond immediately by clicking. Don't wait till the hazard becomes actual hazard.
You need not click on the hazard itself.
If you are taking driving lessons, you can start testing your anticipation while driving.
Take help of your driving instructor for further help.
Even when you are in passenger seat, you can test your hazard perception skills. Observe the road and surroundings and check how you would react on those situations.
Practice online hazard perception clips - Although there are limitations for online practice you will get a fair idea of the exam concept.
If you know how you would be tested, you can score good marks.
Crown copyright material has been reproduced by permission of the Driving Standards Agency which does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the reproduction.
Get instant FREE access to 140+ official DSA theory test questions and hazard perception clips.