News story

Hazard perception test now features more weather conditions

The hazard perception part of the theory test now includes clips to test a learner driver’s ability to spot developing hazards in different weather conditions.

An image of a hazard perception test, featuring a road covered in snow, with a deer about the walk onto the road

The hazard perception part of the theory test assesses the ability to spot ‘developing hazards’. These are things that would cause drivers to take action, like changing speed or direction.

In the theory test, you have to spot developing hazards in 14 video clips. You get points for spotting the developing hazards as soon as they start to happen.

Find out more about how the hazard perception test works

The clips in the car theory test now include scenarios including driving in:

  • fog
  • rain
  • snow and ice
  • wind

Some new clips also show driving at night and in low-light conditions, like dawn and dusk.

These new clips will also be added to:

  • motorcycle theory tests from December 2018
  • lorry, bus and coach theory tests from early 2019
  • approved driving instructor (ADI) part 1 tests and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) enhanced rider scheme trainer theory tests from early 2019

The way the hazard perception part of the theory test works and is scored is not changing. The pass mark is also not changing.

Watch example clips

Watch examples of the types of clips that have been introduced.

There is no audio on the clips.

Driving in snow

Clip

Driving in rain

Clip

Driving at night

Clip

Why the new types of clips are being introduced

The Department for Transport’s reported road casualties report for 2017 shows that 16,406 accidents happened in rain, sleet, snow or fog. Of those, 205 accidents were fatal.

It’s vital that learner drivers can spot developing hazards and take appropriate action. It’s particularly important in more challenging conditions, and where the stopping distance is longer than dry roads.

In wet weather, stopping distances will be at least double those required for stopping on dry roads. In icy or snowy weather, it can be as much as 10 times greater.

Find out more about driving in bad weather

Hazard perception testing leads to a reduction in collisions

Research from the Department for Transport (PDF, 1.1MB) has shown that hazard perception training and testing could account for an 11% reduction in collisions, potentially saving hundreds of lives every year.

Jesse Norman, Road Safety Minister, said:

The UK has some of the safest roads in the world, but we’re always looking for ways to make them safer.

These new hazard perception clips offer more realistic driving conditions to test a learner driver’s ability, preparing them for overcoming the real-life challenges they will face on the road – something that should benefit all road users.

Mark Winn, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Chief Driving Examiner, said:

DVSA’s priority is to help everyone through a lifetime of safe driving.

Every year too many people are injured on our roads by hazards frequently encountered by drivers and we are determined to do more.

We know the theory test helps saves lives, so we are using computer-generated imagery (CGI) clips to further improve road safety.

Practice apps and software are still relevant

Any products you’ve been using to help you practise the hazard perception part of the test are still relevant.

You do not need to have practised with clips featuring different weather conditions to take and pass the test.

Find out how to practise and revise

Published 19 November 2018