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The HGV Hazard Perception Test 101

If you’re looking to become a HGV driver in the future, then getting your Driver CPC and HGV licence is a good place to start. This isn’t exactly a quick process, but it a worthwhile one. As the current situation shows, there will always be a need for delivery drivers, and it can be a great way to earn a better, stable income. One of the things you will need to do is pass a theory test, which includes a section on hazard perception. However, it is slightly different to the standard hazard perception test, which is why we want to talk about it today.


What Is It?

Do you remember when you took your original driving test, you had to take a theory test, which included a section on hazards? Well, this is the same thing, but for a HGV. It does what it says on the tin – it assesses your ability to spot and react to hazards on the road. For a HGV driver, hazard perception is one of many tests you will need to take, and part 2 of your theory test. If you want to pass, you’ll need to score a minimum of 67.

The test is quite similar to the standard driving test in terms of format, but it is longer and more involved. You will be asked to sit in front of a computer screen and watch 18 different videos. Each of those videos contains 1 developing hazard, while 1 of the videos contains 2 (just to catch you out).


What’s A Developing Hazard?

The key part of the HGV hazard perception test is understanding what a developing hazard is. You see, driving a HGV means you aren’t able to stop as quickly as you are used to in a normal car. So you need to be more aware of your surroundings than usual, and be prepared to take action sooner. So you’ll be identifying ‘developing’ hazards as opposed to normal hazards.

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

While in the real world you would probably spot these things and respond without really thinking about it, in this test you need to be able to see them coming sooner and click when you do. You can click any time you think you see a hazard – you won’t be penalised for clicking when there isn’t a hazard on the screen. However, you will be penalised if you click all the time hoping to hit one, so we don’t recommend doing that!


When Do I Take The Test?

Hazard perception forms part of the theory section of your HGV licence test. This means it’s one of the first things you will do, probably before you even get into a HGV yourself. This is because the provisional licences can take several weeks to arrive, and since you can’t get behind the wheel without one, most trainers (including us) recommend studying for and taking your theory tests while you’re waiting. This way you can focus wholly on the practical side of things once your license has arrived.

Learning how to drive a HGV professional is an incredibly rewarding and lucrative step. Not only that, but as the current crisis has shown, there will always be a need for delivery drivers, so it is one of the safest career paths you can take. If you would like to know more about starting your HGV career and taking your HGV hazard perception test, just get in touch with the team today.

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