The hazard perception section of the theory test is perhaps the trickiest, as you cannot take your time considering your options; nor can you simply take an educated guess, as many do in the first (multiple-choice) part.
Here, it is not your theoretical book knowledge of driving that is being tested; it is your ability to read the road, to be aware of what is going on around you. To see a hazard before it has even become a hazard.
In short, they are seemingly testing the impossible.
But don’t despair.The best way to pass the hazard perception test is to practise.There are tons of situational videos for you to use here at TheDrivingTest.co.uk to hone your skills, and in this case practice really does make perfect.
There are 14 situational videos and 15 hazards for you to spot in total – on average one per video - but they tell you how many you’re looking out for. All you need to do is click your mouse when you see the hazard developing.
Remember that you’re watching video footage, so you don’t need to worry about actually driving a car at the same time. You’ll also only be going a maximum of about 40mph, so seeing the hazards as they develop isn’t as difficult as it seems.
You also get a fairly generous time frame in which to click. It’s usually about five seconds, which doesn’t sound a lot – but count it out in your head now: one, hippopotamus, two, hippopotamus… It’s actually a lot longer than you think. If you haven’t spotted a lorry pulling out or pedestrians blatantly walking out in front of you in that amount of time, then quite frankly you don’t deserve to be on the roads.
Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re looking for potential hazards either. The examiner (a.k.a. the computer) doesn’t want you to click and tell it if there’s a child on the pavement who might run out on you, or a car at a junction that might pull out in front of you. It’s only interested in developing hazards – so, the child who actually does run out, or the car that does pull out. As soon as you see the child run into the road, you click. As soon as the car starts to move out into the road, you click.
That’s probably the main place where people fail – the clicking. Everyone’s too enthusiastic, thinking that if they click once for everything in sight then they’re sure to eventually click for the right thing.
In fact, you actually get points knocked off for clicking too often – it’s seen as a form of cheating, and you can fail your entire theory test just because you clicked too much in the hazard perception section. Only click when there’s a definite hazard developing. For those 5 key seconds, however, you can click as much as you like.
The last thing to bear in mind is also click-related, and will probably make a lot of your lives easier: you don’t have to click on the actual hazard. In fact, you don’t even get a mouse pointer on your screen in the actual hazard perception test, so you couldn’t click on the hazard itself even if you wanted to. You simply need to click. This is something that isn’t always clear in the mock hazard perception tests you find online.