Driving Theory Test changes to improve road safety

To help improve road safety, an update to the hazard perception test, taken by learner drivers as part of their theory test, has been announced by DVSA today.

A series of new computer-generated imagery (CGI) clips have been added to the test. The 23 realistic scenarios, simulate adverse weather conditions, including snow, wind, and rain along with clips showing the type of low-level lighting experienced at dusk and dawn.

In 2017 there were 16,406 accidents in rain, sleet, snow or fog. 205 of the accidents were fatal.* Of the 16,406 accidents;

  • 15,042 accidents were in rain. 179 of which were fatal.
  • 740 accidents were in snow. 9 of which were fatal.
  • 624 accidents were in fog. 17 of which were fatal.

The Hazard Perception Test has been shown to reduce post-test at-fault collisions by new drivers by at least 11%**. DVSA has introduced the new clips to help further reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in accidents.

Road Safety Minister Jesse Norman, said:

“The UK has some of the safest roads in the world, but we’re always looking for ways to make them safer.

“These new hazard perception clips offer more realistic driving conditions to test a learner driver’s ability, preparing them for overcoming the real-life challenges they will face on the road – something that should benefit all road users.”

DVSA Chief Driving Examiner, Mark Winn, said:

“DVSA’s priority is to help everyone through a lifetime of safe driving.

“Every year too many people are injured on our roads by hazards frequently encountered by drivers and we are determined to do more; we know the theory test helps saves lives so we are using CGI clips to further improve road safety.”

Hazard perception test (HPT) clips are an important part of the theory test and allow learner drivers to prepare, in a safe environment, for identifying and responding to developing hazards.

DVSA will be introducing the new CGI clips to the motorcycle theory test from 1 December 2018. LGV and PCV theory tests will feature the new clips from 1 January 2019.

 Further information

DVSA will be introducing additional CGI clips in the future, which simulate situations that feature vulnerable road users – like children, cyclists, and motorcyclists.

Click here for additional information on the theory test

*Figures published by DfT (Reported accidents by daylight and darkness, weather condition, built-up and non built up roads and severity, Great Britain, 2017).

** Figures published by DfT. Cohort II: a study of learners and new drivers, 2008.



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