The hazard perception element of the theory test was introduced by the The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) on 14th November 2002. This test is taken at the same time as the theory test and will take about an extra 15 minutes. The object is to identify up to 15 hazards as quickly as possible from 14 video clips, and you will have to pass this before being let loose on the practical test.
Young drivers have quicker reactions than older drivers. However, the more experienced driver scans the road better and recognises the clues that show a hazardous situation is developing much earlier and therefore starts to take action before the danger occurs. This is one of the reasons why accident involvement generally reduces as experience is gained. New drivers take much longer (up to two seconds longer) to recognise hazardous situations than more experienced drivers.
The electronic test is taken in front of a normal computer monitor. There are no pedals or steering wheel, just a mouse. The "driver" watches a series of video clips, each about a minute long, filmed on all sorts of roads, from country lanes to suburban high streets to motorways. Each clip will contain one or more developing hazards. Candidates need to click the mouse button as soon as they see a hazard. You will be asked to indicate as soon as they see a hazard developing which may result in the driver taking some action, such as changing speed or direction. The sooner a response is made the higher the score.
Typical hazards include: