Hazard Percetion Test

Hopefully you've noticed that Queensland Transport have now moved the Hazard Perception Test to before your P1 License, so you need to make sure you've completed, passed and paid for this online test BEFORE you go for your Practical Driving Test.

Queensland Transport speak about using a 3 step approach:

  1. Scan: Continue to scan the road environment and identify risks when driving at all times.
  2. Recognise: Recognise the difference between potential hazards and hazards that require you to respond. A hazard can be any potential source of danger on or near the road that could lead to a crash. A hazard can come from any direction.
  3. Respond: Learning to recognise a hazard early allows you to make a well-informed decision on the safest way to respond.

Here is a break down of how to implement this properly into your driving

1. Scan - Where to look:
  • Look high and far, not down at the road. The further ahead you look the more notice you will get of an upcoming problem. Once seen you can take control of the situation sooner and smoother rather than a last minute emergency reaction.
  • Watch every vehicle, person, animal and even tree around you, looking for indicators and brake lights and things hidden behind obstacles. This will give you the ability to plan ahead and you'll start to be able to predict what's coming.
  • Keep your eyes on the move. Unless there is a serious obstacle ahead of you keep your eyes moving, this will prevent tunnel vision setting in and keep your peripheral vision engage. When your peripheral vision is working you'll notice very quickly if something is out of place.
  • Watch the traffic lights, if it's red or yellow take your foot off the accelerator, this slows you down gently and will save your brakes.  You'll also find you actually have to stop less often. Even if it's green, ease up a little just in case it changes on you.
  • Look past the car in front of you to see what other traffic is doing. You can do this by gently moving closer (but not over) the dividing line or by looking through the windows of the car in front to see what's going on further ahead.
  • Keep an eye on your mirror and the traffic behind. You'll be able to see dangerous drivers approaching and can then move out of their way to keep yourself safe.
  • Don’t forget to check the side streets. A quick look to see if there are any cars that don't look like they are going to stop, you should do this at level crossings, traffic lights and roundabouts as well.
  • Make sure you watch for people NOT stopping or giving way when they should, stay out of their way. It's not worth risking an accident to claim your "right of way". I have seen too many cars and trucks continue through a red light after the others have already turned green.

Know your surroundings: The more you know what is going on around you the less likely you are to be involved in a crash when it happens. Think about it; accidents that involve 2 cars don't need both drivers to be at fault. So always watch for that other driver and you're less likely to be involved.

2. Recognise - What to look for:
  • Signs - A Hazard is something you need to respond to, as such you need to see speed signs, traffic lights, give way/stop signs and the like.
  • Children/Animals - Make sure you are looking off road for Hazards as well, an unsecured animal or a child could quickly become a problem.
  • Traffic - Watch all other traffic on the road, even if they are not in your direct path. Things on the road move fast, this means they can quickly become a direct Hazard.

3. Respond - What to do:

  • Signs - Simple, check your mirrors and then obey the sign if safe to do so!
  • Off road - Things off road should be mentally checked and moved on from, this will make it so you are now subconsciously watching it.
  • On road - Like wise a mental note of a potential hazard will keep your subconscious watching it. If you see a vehicle behaving in a manner that causes concern it's best to act early, try and move to a safer position and remember that an unpredictable vehicle is better in front of you than behind you.

Do the Hazard Perception Test here