The Hazard Perception Test

Introduction

Hazards and hazard perception

There are three basic hazard perception skills that good drivers use to stay safe:

  • 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.

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.

Person sitting behind the wheel of a car

Because it takes time and practice to develop hazard perception skills, you should be working on them from the day that you get your Learner’s Permit.

The aim of the HPT is to confirm that learner drivers have enough hazard perception skills to "graduate" to the next licensing stage. Research shows that these skills are important for safe driving and that drivers with poor hazard perception skills usually have more crashes. Research also shows that screen-based hazard perception tests can detect drivers with a higher risk of crash involvement.

The purpose of the HPT is to help reduce the high level of young driver crashes in South Australia by:

  • encouraging new drivers to develop hazard perception skills
  • testing drivers on driving situations that are known to lead to the most common types of crashes involving new drivers and
  • only allowing drivers with adequate hazard perception skills to "graduate" to their P1 provisional licence.


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