The Hazard Perception test now includes more clips containing bad weather to test pupils ability to deal with poor visibility etc. The tests looks at pupils ability to spot “developing hazards” that will cause them to change speed or direction. There are a total of 14 clips and points are scored from 5 down to 1 for how soon a developing hazard is spotted. The sooner it’s spotted the more points a candidate gets.
There are some clips that also show driving at night and low light conditions like dusk and dawn.
The new clips will also form part of the theory test for:
- Driving Instructor part 1
- Bus, lorry and coach
They are being introduced because the Department of Transport has reported that in 2017 there were 16,406 accidents in rain, fog, snow or sleet conditions. Of these 205 were fatal.
It is important that learner drivers can spot these developing hazards earlier especially if stopping distances are increased as in the case for rain where stopping distances can be twice as long. In snow or ice they can be 10 times longer.
The Department of Transport says that Hazard Perception training can account for a reduction in accidents by % which itself could save hundreds of lives each year.
The Road Safety Minister, Jesse Norman said “We are proud that the UK has some of the best and safest roads in the world, however we always strive to make them better.”
The new video clips will better test the new learner drivers to better deal with real world conditions and make them safer drivers in the long term. A spokesperson for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency said “Our priority is to help everyone to become safer drivers for life not just to pass a driving test. Every year we have too many people, particularly young drivers who end up in serious or fatal collisions due to a lack of experience or understanding of the dangers of bad weather. We know that the theory test really works and we are now using CGI clips to better improve the theory training.”