How to pass your hazard perception test
One of the most important skills to develop when riding a motorcycle on the road, is the ability to spot (and avoid) potential hazards. This is something you continue to hone all the time you are riding. However this ‘ability' is also tested as part of the Theory Test, which learners need to pass before taking practical training. So what can you do to ensure you pass it?
Before we move onto the tricks and tips, let’s look at why the Hazard Perception Test (HPT) is required before you can even get near a bike? Well, the Government realise that hazard perception is a very important element of road safety and introduced the video based test back in 2002. So much is it valued that if you do not reach the required score, you will fail the entire theory test even if you scored 100% on the question based section. Unlike the Q & A where the answers are either right or wrong, the ‘HPT’ is scored by a computer algorithm based on the time it takes you to spot the hazards in the video as they unfold.
The fourteen videos that make up the test are designed to mimic the various real-life hazards that you may encounter when riding on the road. The practical reality of the test is that you click the mouse as soon as you see a potential hazard whilst the computer calculates the time it has taken you to react to the footage. In each video there will be one developing hazard ie something where you would need to take action (slow, brake or change direction) In addition to this, one of the clips will feature two hazards.
At the start of the test you are shown a sample clip so that you understand how the test works. Thankfully however you do get the opportunity to try it out before you go to the test centre. This is our first tip, make sure you practice so there are no surprises on the big day. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have a YouTube video which explains exactly what will happen during the test and what to expect. There are also plenty of practice tests available online, so there is no excuse for not being prepared. Do as many of these as you can. If you are already a driver you should spot these hazards very easily, but if you don’t drive, as a passenger just start paying attention to what other road users are doing and what road layouts and terrain may contribute to potential hazards. Commentating in your head whilst travelling is an excellent method of practice.
So quite simply you watch each of the videos in turn and click the mouse button as soon as you see a potential hazard developing. However, do not think you can just mash the mouse button in the hope it coincides with the hazard. It will actually harm your score as there is a limit on the amount of clicks you can make. Conversely not enough clicks will indicate to the computer that you have very little awareness. It’s pretty much impossible to fool, so just be sensible and concentrate.
The test lasts approximately twenty minutes and isn’t an arduous task, but it is a one shot deal, you cannot go back to try any of the clips again. As we’ve already established there are a total of fifteen hazards within the fourteen videos. Each hazard carries a maximum of five points, and the longer it takes you to spot them the lower you score on each hazard. To reach a pass standard you will need to score a minimum of 44 out of 75.
So, apart from practicing online as we mentioned above, our other tips are;
- Make sure you understand what a developing hazard is. (will cause you to take action).
- Click as soon as you notice a potential hazard that may become a developing hazard.
- Remember there will definitely be two hazards in one of the clips
- Do not click excessively, you’re likely to fail the test that way
If you prepare in advance you should have no problem with the test, just relax and try to enjoy it.
You will be handed your results on the day for both the Q&A and HPT upon completion. Then it's time to visit www.rideto.com and find your nearest partner training school to book your lessons.
The world of two wheeled travel just took one step closer.