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What You Need To Know About The HGV Hazard Perception Test

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If you’re looking to become an HGV driver, and are maybe even at the beginning of pursuing your first licence, then you will need to take a hazard perception test (or two). It’s the gateway to your official training – the bit you have to do before you can get behind the wheel. But while it might sound dull, it’s one of the most important parts of learning to drive a HGV. Being able to identify hazards and act to avoid them is arguably your most vital skill, so it’s not surprising that you need to demonstrate it. So today we wanted to talk a bit about what the hazard perception test is, and how it all works.


What is The Hazard Perception Test?

A hazard perception test basically does what it says on the tin – it’s a test to see if you can perceive hazards on the road properly. You will normally take one of these when you do your original drivers licence test, and you will need to do one again to pass your HGV licence. For HGV drivers, the hazard perception test makes up the second part of a two-part exam. To pass, you will need to score at least 67 points.

The exam itself is a bit more involved than your standard driving test version. For the HGV exam you will need to watch 19 videos on a computer screen. In 18 of those videos, there is one developing hazard that you will need to identify as quickly as possible. And in one of the videos, there are two developing hazards – and you won’t be told which video it is. Just to make sure you’re paying attention!


What is a Developing Hazard?

Learning what a developing hazard is and how to identify it is a crucial part of the HGV hazard perception test. While you probably do it automatically when you’re driving, it can be difficult to identify it when in a test situation, so it’s worth reading up on. The DVLA defines a developing hazard as ‘something that would cause you to take action, like changing speed or direction’. So, for example;

  • A runner moving out onto the road where you’re driving
  • A car pulling out of a side road without right of way
  • Children playing close to the road
  • A car in front of you slamming on the brakes
  • Fog creeping across the road
  • Cyclists riding on the side of the road
  • An animal running across a field towards the road in front of you

In the real world, you would automatically spot and adjust to these things almost without thinking. But in a hazard perception test, you need to watch the footage and click the mouse if you spot something that could be an issue. The good news is you won’t be penalised if you click for something that isn’t actually a hazard – but you will be penalised if you click constantly in the hope of hitting a hazard, so don’t do that either!


When do You Take it?

The hazard perception part of your HGV licence test comes in the theory section, so it’s one of the things you will do first. You can opt to do it at the same time as your theory test (which involves multiple choice questions), or you can do it separately at another time. You have plenty of time to revise for it though, since your provisional licence can take a few weeks to come through, and without that you can’t do any practical driving practice.

Learning to drive a HGV can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and as the current crisis is showing, it is a pretty recession-proof career move. There will always be a need for delivery drivers, so if you’re looking for a new career, you couldn’t do better. To find out more, just get in touch with the team to chat with one of our trainers, from the comfort of your own home of course.

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