How to Pass the Hazard Perception Test with Style

You have jump a number of hurdles in the race to earn your P1 license. Driverli wants to be by your side as you tick all these boxes:

  • Celebrate your 17th birthday
  • Have your learner license for a year
  • Claim 120 hours in your logbook
  • Pass the Hazard Perception Test (HPT)
  • Prove your identity, pass the eyesight test
  • Pay the license and test fees
  • Take and pass the driving test

Today we focus on passing the Hazard Perception Test in style by sharing trade secrets we learned over many years.

How the Hazard Perception Test Works in Principle

If you have been taking lessons at a driving school recently, then you’ll remember the instructor pointing out hazards as you approached them. These regularly included a car cutting in front of you, a pedestrian crossing the road or even someone braking for no obvious reason.

A skilled and licenced driving school instructor wants you to be able to spot these hazards on your own, and know how to avoid them. The NSW hazard perception test uses computer touch screen technology so it’s culture fair for everybody.

You watch actual video clips of genuine traffic situations that really happened. Your job as student is to touch the screen to choose your best reaction. For example, you might decide to slow down, overtake or turn at the next intersection.

A registered NSW driving school instructor helps you judge stopping and following distances, and pick safe gaps in the traffic so you pass the hazard perception test first time round.

When’s the Best Time to Do My HPT Test?

You can repeat the test as often as you like. However, because it’s a good tactic to pass first time round we recommend waiting until you have held your P1 licence for a year. This also gives you time to benefit from driving lessons with an instructor or advice from your supervisor driver, if you decide to go that way.

The touch screen hazard perception test can be quite unnerving the first time. Therefore you need to be firmly on top of the theory before you attempt it.

The situations in the test are the most likely scenarios you face as an NSW provisional driver. There are 15 video clips to work through. You’ll be allowed two random ones to practice on first.

Why Do I Have To Do This Test in the First Place?

A leaner driver is most likely to be under 25 at the time. Statistics the NSW police collect say drivers under 25 are three times more likely to be involved in crashes.

The police say this is because young people have had less opportunity to learn how to spot hazards unless they have the benefit of driving lessons by an experienced driver.

Passing the HPT test confirms you have acquired this knowledge. You will also be less likely to take chances on the road, after you have seen actual videos of crashes and know the horrible results they cause.

What Are the Most Important Hazards I Must Learn?

About 80% of crashes involving NSW learners fall in these types:

  • 33% rear end collisions
  • 17% intersection collisions
  • 15% head on collisions
  • 9% leaving the road on a straight
  • 8% leaving the road on a bend

That’s Scary, How Do These Things Happen?

The NSW police say the most likely causes are:

  • Not keeping a safe distance from the car in front
  • Not watching the road far enough ahead
  • Driving too fast for the current conditions
  • Not allowing enough time for manoeuvres

How the Hazard Perception Test Works in Practice

A hazard, as you discover during supervised driving lessons or driving school training is a potentially dangerous situation that could become an accident. Hazards include inattentive pedestrians, broken down vehicles, cars near you and road repairs in progress.

You begin your training by downloading the New South Wales Hazard Perception Handbook, or purchasing a hard copy from a registry or service centre. Either way, you have a huge amount of info to wade through while you search for the nuggets you need to know.

If you don’t have time to wade through 92 pages then turn to Driverli for help. We can recommend a driving school to shortcut the process because you only learn what you need to know.

Once you have successfully passed your hazard perception test, you should be almost done with your 120 hours given you have been driving for 10 months or more.

You should then be ready for the driving test. This is probably a good time to book a few last lessons with a driving school to brush up your skills. You have to make sure you get rid of those bad habits you may have picked up driving with your parents.

You really should consider a dry run of the actual driving test with an experienced instructor. Then, you can make the final tweaks to your safe driving style that could see you sailing through the process with ease.

Find A Driving School & Instructor Near You To Become A Safe Driver

At Driverli, we've helped hundreds of future young drivers and their parents find trusted driving schools near where they live and work.