This guide is by Theory Test Explained who offer 1:1 Theory Training for learner drivers and PDIs. Available as a dual branded service for ADIs at no extra charge.
Misunderstood, badly explained and challenging! The DVSA Hazard perception is the bane of many Learners and Trainee Driving Instructors alike. The good news is that it isn’t as difficult as it may seem once you have a good system and understand the rules.
Theory Test Explained provides theory training to help deliver understanding surrounding the theory test. With specialist knowledge for those with learning needs (including dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism) we use a combination of video presentations, group sessions and 1:1 Zoom training to enable a better understanding of driving, the theory test and achieving that all important pass. We can work with your driving instructor to provide well rounded support in and outside the car.
The Hazard Perception Test
This section of the UK theory test is widely misunderstood. It is not about getting full marks. It is not about clicking 2 or 3 times for everything. And it is not about only clicking 3 times per clip.
Some say it is pointless, however you will find that you start to spot hazards in your everyday life, often thinking ‘Thats just like the Hazard Perception test!’ You possibly wouldn’t have seen them before, or noted them as prominently. This is the reason for it. It wakes up your drivers brain and trains it in hazard identification.
Is it perfect? No! Hazard prediction would be a better system, but it does perform an important role.
What is a hazard?
A hazard is anything that can develop. A pedestrian, animal, bicycle, vehicle, all of these has the potential to become a serious hazard. There are also associated hazards. A pedestrian crossing, a postbox, an obstructed view, a junction. These are clues that might make you predict a hazard.
How is it marked?
There are 14 computer generated images (CGI) video clips. There are 15 hazards, so 1 clip (you don’t know which) has 2 hazards so keep clicking after you think you have seen it.
Each clip will have multiple hazards developing to varying degrees. The marked hazard will be scored from 5 down to 1. Too early, or too late, scores a zero.
Someone using our technique will hopefully see clicks like this:
While the first click was early and scored a zero, the second click got a 4 (maybe even a 5!). It is this pairing that you want to see when reviewing the clicks as it maximises your scoring.
The required score is 44/75
You do not need 5s or even 4s, score 3 on every hazard and you get a Pass! The 5/4s allow you to drop a mark, or even get blocked from a clip if you get a little click happy!
Where people go wrong!
A lot of people are too good! When the test first launched Approved Driving Instructors had to pass to continue teaching. 80% of these trained observers failed! Why?
- They were scoring zero by spotting the hazard before the scoring started.
- By ignoring the Potential hazard and waiting for it to develop.
Click more, click responsively, make it count
The most common advice we hear involves ‘pattern clicks’. These vary but usually it involves ‘Click <Wait 2 seconds> Click again’. This may get results, but it can just as easily get you blocked out from that clip and needing a higher score on the remaining clips to pass. Using a ‘vision decision’ based approach is less likely to trigger a blocked clip, and is far more relevant to real life driving approaches as it is risk focused.
Theory Test Explained provides bespoke theory tuition designed to support understanding that answering the questions does not provide. With specialist experience with dyslexia, autism, memory difficulties and other needs.
Posted by Chris Bensted
June 11, 2021