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The Hazard Perception Test

Developing hazard perception skills

Developing hazard perception skills

It takes time to develop hazard perception skills. The best way to achieve them is to get plenty of driving experience across lots of different driving situations. This is how more experienced drivers have developed their hazard perception skills. Because they have these skills, these drivers are involved in fewer crashes than less experienced drivers.

The basic hazard perception skills are:

  • Keeping a safe distance from other vehicles
    Keeping a safe distance from other vehicles
  • Selecting safe gaps when turning, crossing traffic or changing lanes
    Selecting safe gaps when turning, crossing traffic or changing lanes
  • Scanning for hazards ahead, behind and to the side
    Scanning for hazards ahead, behind and to the side

The headings relating to these three basic hazard perception skills are shown in the yellow tabs in this section.

Those sections will help you apply these basic skills:

  • when other road users such as pedestrians and cyclists are around, and
  • when unexpected situations arise.

Each section  outlines a basic hazard perception skill area. This is followed by a key point summary and suggestions on how to develop and practise this skill. Remember that practice on the road is essential to the development of sound hazard perception skills.

You will notice that the exercises often ask you to get a friend or more experienced driver who you trust to help you. A common pattern for the exercises will be:

  • you observe as a pedestrian,
  • you then observe as a passenger with a more experienced driver at the wheel,
  • you then try it with you as the driver.

Traffic jam

This is to help make the exercises easier to learn and safer to do. Involving a more experienced driver allows you to get some feedback from drivers who have more developed hazard perception skills.

You can't learn them properly from a book or a website. It's a bit like learning to play tennis or cricket, books and websites can help you, but you need to get out there and practise to develop and improve your skills.


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