How To Pass The Hazard Awareness Driving Test

Last Updated: 10/05/2022

Before you can apply to take your practical driving test and become a fully-qualified driver, you must first pass the theory test.

A significant element of the theory test is the hazard awareness test.

The hazard awareness, or hazard perception as some people know it, is designed to test you on your analyses of potential hazards when driving.

As you become more experienced at driving, you get better at identifying potential hazards, however, it’s a vital skill to have in order to be safe driving on the road, which is why it’s a part of the driving theory test.

Even if you pass the other parts of the theory test, failing the hazard awareness element will result in a total fail.

The test is a video-based perception test.

As the video unfolds, you will be expected to quickly identify any potential hazards that are developing or emerging on the screen in front of you.

It’s been designed to replicate real-life scenarios and situations that you will come across on any given day.

While it takes place on a computer, don’t worry if you’re not very good with computers. You don’t need to be.

It’s as simple as clicking a mouse when you see each hazard, so no computer knowledge is required.

What You Will Learn

This guide is split up into our usual sections, although the step-by-step guide has been built slightly differently.

We’ve firstly explained how the test works and how you’re judged, and then we’ve given some additional tips to try and help you get through it.

Make sure you also check out the ‘hints & tips’ and ‘useful information’ sections below for further information and guidance.

  • Step-By-Step Guide
  • Video Demonstration
  • Hints & Tips
  • Useful Information
  • Final Thoughts
  • Further Resources

Step-By-Step Guide

How The Hazard Awareness Test Works:

  • At the beginning of the test, you will be shown a video of how the test works. You can view versions of this online ahead of time as well, so take the time to familiarise yourself. It’s likely that on the day of your test you will have some nerves, so not all of the content in the video may make sense or sink-in when you’re in that environment.
  • The test then begins, and you are shown 14 video clips of road situations.
  • Most of the video clips have one hazard in, but one has two. You will need to be able to identify a potential hazard that can turn into what’s referred to as a ‘developing hazard’.
  • You are assessed by way of mouse clicks – the quicker you identify a developing hazard the better. You are scored depending on the speed that you see the hazard.
  • Do not click the mouse too much thinking you can be over cautious about every potential hazard. This could result in you failing the test. There is also a maximum number of clicks that you can do during the test which is an instant failure.
  • For each hazard, noticing and reacting to it as early as possible can result in a maximum of five marks. Slower reaction times will reduce the number of points you’re awarded accordingly.
  • The test lasts 20 minutes. There is no chance to go back and repeat a clip just as there wouldn’t be a chance to go back in real-life on the road.

Some Steps To Help You Pass The Hazard Awareness Test:

  • Practice! See our hints and tips section below – there are many places online where you can practise the test. So, take the time to revise and then practise the test at home a few times. I can go a long way!
  • Establish what is meant by a developing hazard and know how to recognise them in video clips, and in real life.
  • Remember that one of the clips will contain two hazards. You will have to identify these within a clip.
  • Click the mouse as soon as you notice a potential hazard.
  • Never go mad with clicking the mouse – too many clicks will lead to failure!

Video Demonstration

Hints & Tips

Here are a few more pointers that may help you get through the hazard awareness element of your theory test:

  • The Driver and Vehicle Standard Agency has a YouTube video which explains how the test works, so you should make sure you take the time to check it out ahead of your test. This may help settle some of your nerves as you will know exactly what you’re going into.
  • Practice taking the test! There are multiple websites offering you opportunities to take a mock hazard perception test online, so it’s definitely worth taking the time to try these out a few times ahead of your actual test.

Useful Information

This section provides a resource of further information which can put you in a strong position to pass your hazard awareness segment of your theory test.

Your first port of call should be the Driver and Vehicle Standard Agency website for more information, but then also use search engines to find some examples to practise on.

One word of warning – make sure the hazard perception test you choose is a UK one.

There are variations, such as an Australian one.

Final Thoughts

Once you’re aware of what constitutes a hazard, the main challenges you face will be around handling your nerves and ensuring you complete the test successfully.

The more time you can spend preparing ahead of your test the better.

Use the resources online which you can do in your own time – mock tests, explainer videos and written information are freely available.

There is no way to fudge your way through this test, and you wouldn’t want to.

Knowing what the dangers of the road are is vital when you’re driving and the hazard awareness test is a great way of really familiarising yourself with it.

Further Resources