The Hazard Perception Test (HPT)

The HPT is a touch-screen computer-based test that assesses your ability to recognise and react appropriately to potentially dangerous situations. Passing the HPT is the requirement for progressing from L plates to red Ps.

Why the HPT?

Hazard perception is an important skill for safe driving and screen-based HPTs are able to detect drivers with a higher crash risk. The HPT aims to confirm learners have enough hazard perception skills to move to the less restricted red P licence.

Currently, drivers aged under 20 years are involved in casualty crashes at almost twice the rate of those aged 20 years or more. From 2007-2009 the number of involvements in casualty crashes per 10,000 licence holders was:

  • Drivers aged under 20 = 116
  • Drivers aged 20 and over = 69

The purpose of the HPT is to reduce the high level of young driver crashes by:

  • Encouraging new drivers to develop hazard perception skills
  • Testing learner drivers on driving situations that lead to the 5 most common types of crashes involving new drivers in NSW
  • Only allowing learner drivers with adequate hazard perception skills to graduate

Hazards and hazard perception

3 basic hazard perception skills are assessed:

  • Keeping a safe distance from other vehicles so you to have more time to detect and respond to hazards
  • Selecting safe gaps so you can turn, overtake, change lanes or cross an intersection without being involved in a crash
  • Identifying hazards ahead, behind and to the side to avoid crashes

Developing hazard perception skills

As it takes time, the best way to develop is by getting plenty of experience across lots of different driving situations. Because experienced drivers have developed their skills, these drivers are involved in fewer crashes.


Continue reading the Hazard Perception Handbook Summary:

1. What is the HPT?

2. Crash Patterns of Provisional Drivers

3. How the HPT works

4. Keeping Space From Other Vehicles

5. Selecting Safe Gaps

6. Scanning for Hazards

7. Important Situations

8. Expecting the Unexpected

Check out the other resources available to help you pass the Hazard Perception Test so you can take the Practical Driving Test:

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