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HGV Hazards – Helping You Pass Your Theory Test

HGV Training Centre

Being able to understand and recognise hazards on the road is an essential skill for all drivers, and particularly for HGV drivers. Because the brake speed for HGVs is slower than a standard car, HGV drivers need to be more aware of developing hazards on the road, and how to react to them in plenty of time. That’s why there is a hazard perception test included in the HGV training programme – to brush up on those skills and make sure you’re ready to hit the road.

But what’s involved in the test, and how can you make sure you pass it?


Defining A Hazard

While it might seem like a simple thing, when it comes to hazards there’s a lot to think about. A hazard is defined as anything that will cause the driver to change the speed or direction of the vehicle, or stop it altogether. In real life there are all sorts of things that could be hazards if you follow that definition, including a set of traffic lights, a junction or a bend. However, those aren’t the sort of thing you need to worry about on your hazard perception test. Instead, you’ll be asked to identify hazards that ‘develop’, and so have some form of motion to them. So things like a bus pulling away from a bus stop, or a child standing at the side of the road.

There are 3 stages to identifying these hazards within the test:

Potential Hazards: These are situations that could lead to a hazard, but haven’t yet impacted the driver in any way. You shouldn’t click now, and you won’t score any points if you do.

Developing Hazards: This is when the hazard seems like it will definitely affect the driver. This is when the scoring window for the test opens, and you should click to score points.

Actual Hazard: By this point, the scoring window has closed. You should have identified the hazard well before it became an actual hazard, and you won’t score any points by clicking now.


How It Works

The hazard perception test is part 2 of your HGV driver theory test, and it’s an important process for you to go through. In order to pass, you need to score a minimum of 67 points, with a maximum of 100 points on the table.

The HGV hazard perception test works in the same way as your standard driver’s licence test did. You’ll be given a demonstration of the equipment before you start, so you know how everything works. Then you’ll be shown a series of clips, and be asked to click the mouse when you see a hazard. There are 18 different videos in the HGV hazard perception test, and each one contains 1 hazard (and 1 contains 2, just to catch you out). Just click when you spot the hazard.

Some examples of the type of hazards you should look out for include:

  • Hidden junctions and turns
  • Pedestrians or cyclists crossing the road
  • Vehicles emerging from side roads, parking places or driveways
  • Large vehicles crossing over to your side of the road
  • Narrow roads where meeting other vehicles can be troublesome
  • Loose pets and farmyard animals
  • Changes in the traffic movement and volume because of temporary obstructions (like broken down vehicles or road works)
  • Junctions and roundabouts
  • Horse riders
  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Road surfaces
  • Parked vehicles
  • Driving in different weather conditions (fog, rain, snow, ice, or even strong winds)

In other words, if you would check your mirror or brake when you see it, it’s a good indication that you should click the mouse. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to review your answers for this set of the theory test. Once you’ve clicked the mouse, that’s it – no going back.


At The HGV Training Company, it’s our job to make sure you’re prepared for your theory test, which includes your hazard perception test. We work with you to help you learn and revise, apply for the tests and make sure you walk out with a passing grade on the other side – usually all while you’re waiting for your provisional license to arrive! If you would like to know more about how we can help, please just get in touch with our team today.

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