Tue, October 31, 2023
Mastering the HGV Hazard Perception and Theory Test
Interestingly, the hazard perception theory test required for an HGV is identical to the one you completed when obtaining your car license. It may seem peculiar that despite driving an HGV, you're still undertaking a hazard perception test designed for car drivers. This raises questions about the test's relevance to an HGV driver's perspective and experience.
Understanding the HGV Hazard Perception Theory test:
The number of hazard perception clips in the theory test
The test for HGV includes 19 video clips featuring 20 scorable hazards. In 18 of these clips, you're expected to identify one hazard, while in one of them, you must spot two hazards. This sums up to 20 scoreable hazards. Scoring five points for each correctly identified hazard, you need a minimum of 67 out of 100 points to pass. For HGV drivers, the hazard perception test is generally straightforward if you avoid clicking too early for the hazard.
An in-depth look at the hazard perception test
Failing the HGV Hazard Perception test usually occurs when you click too early. Once you've passed the HP theory test, it remains valid for two years. Typically, when you take the HP test, you would also complete the theory test (multiple choice) and the Driver CPC theory test. The main challenge in dealing with the HP test is the tendency to click too quickly, which can lead to failure.
The challenge with the HP theory test lies in its design, tailored for novice drivers seeking their car licenses. Novice drivers, with limited on-road experience, tend to focus on a shorter distance ahead (video clip). In contrast, those pursuing an HGV license are typically experienced drivers who look further down the road. Consequently, the issue isn't about identifying hazards but rather spotting them too early.
Strategies for effectively passing the HGV hazard perception
Experienced drivers tend to identify hazards more quickly, often before the system expects them to. This can result in receiving fewer marks. The scoring starts at five marks when you identify the hazard at the right moment, but it decreases if you're too early or late, with possible scores of four, three, two, or one. It's important to note that excessive clicking may lead to a score of zero for that specific video clip, as it might be perceived as cheating.
Passing the hazard perception test is generally straightforward if you avoid clicking too early.
It's essential to understand that this is a hazard perception theory test, not a potential hazard perception theory test. In the video clips, you simulate the view from a car's windscreen while driving. The objective is to identify actual hazards when they occur. For example, someone waiting to cross the road or a car about to pull in front of you are potential hazards, but they're not what the DVSA is looking for. They want you to spot hazards that require you to slow down or stop to avoid impeding other traffic.
3 click method hazard perception.
In most, if not all, video clips, you're searching for one hazard, so excessive clicking should be avoided. Our advice for experienced drivers is to click the mouse button or press the space bar when you see the hazard develop, i.e., when you need to start slowing down. Then, count in your head, "One, two," and click again. This method should ensure your success in the hazard perception theory test.
HGV Hazard Perception Certification
Upon passing your theory test, you won't receive a physical certificate. Instead, if you've provided your email, you'll get an email confirmation, along with a letter that DVSA will print. It's advisable to keep these confirmations because you may be required to show them when you take your driving test.
Validity of Hazard Perception test
If you've provided your email address to DVSA, you will receive an email confirming your theory test, or you can access it online and print a copy. Remember that your hazard perception theory test is valid for two years, and you must pass your driving test within that timeframe; otherwise, you'll need to retake the theory test.
In terms of preparing for hazard perception tests, there are numerous apps available online. If you've previously taken the car hazard perception theory test, which is the case for most people, it's straightforward. You've already experienced it, and if you avoid clicking too early, you should do well in your hazard perception test.
During lockdown, theory tests and practical tests couldn't be conducted. Unfortunately, those who had passed the theory test but couldn't take their driving test due to lockdown didn't receive an extension to their theory test expiry date. The standard two-year validity period remained in place, which some found unfair, considering the COVID restrictions.
The hazard perception (HP) theory test is straightforward, requiring minimal practice if you understand the key aspects necessary for passing. In our view, the HP test doesn't necessarily make you a safer driver, as it doesn't fully reflect the real driving experience on the road, especially for HGV drivers. This test is limited to a two-dimensional view, while driving involves being aware of what's in front of you, beside you, and behind you.
In conclusion, passing the hazard perception test is a requirement to obtain your HGV entitlement. Regrettably, this theory test adds little value to the skills and knowledge needed by an HGV driver, as it doesn't accurately reflect the real driving conditions experienced by professionals on the road. Some may consider it merely a checkbox exercise, but it's an integral part of the testing process and must be cleared. Following our advice to avoid clicking too early, you should achieve the minimum passing score of 67, and we wish you the best of luck on your journey to becoming a professional HGV driver.