Adverse weather added to hazard perception test

11.25 | 20 November 2018 | | 3 comments

Computer-generated clips of adverse weather conditions are being added to the hazard perception section of the driving theory test.

First introduced in 2002, the hazard perception element requires learner drivers to watch a simulated journey and spot ‘developing situations’ on the road.

Announced by the DVSA on 19 November, the 23 new scenarios include driving in snow, wind, rain and fog – and dusk and dawn scenes.

Jesse Norman, road safety minister, says the new clips are designed to provide more realistic driving conditions to better test a learner’s ability.

Figures show that during 2017, 16,406 collisions happened in rain, sleet, snow or fog – of which 205 incidents were fatal.

Research from the DfT suggests that hazard perception training and testing could account for an 11% reduction in collisions – ‘potentially saving hundreds of lives every year’.

Jesse Norman said: “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.”

Mark Winn, DVSA chief driving examiner, said: “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 computer-generated imagery clips to further improve road safety.”



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    For centuries now we have had snow at sometime in the winter period. Yes we don’t get the adverse snow that many of our counterparts in europe get but we get enough. However they do seem to get much more of it and over a longer period of time than we do and so drivers become more used to driving with a greater degree of safety than ourselves. In some countries winter tyres are legally required but we seldom see many winter tyres here.

    Initially we are not prepared for it but with driving experience we do get more and more used to it. What we do actually lack is the means to make ours roads safer and keep our roads clear. This is something they can do in europe and it’s something that we did many years ago when I was a lad. Then we never had these minor snowfall problems as we had the where with all to deal with both it and any heavier falls that we sometimes suffer from.

    We are nowadays ill prepared for it with not enough machinery and manpower to keep all road free flowing. As a result some roads are not maintained as free as they should be and drivers are visibly seen to be suffering by it.

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    Hazard awareness is all very well, but what is not emphasised is that braking on snow/ice is unlike any other road surface and needs to be tried and mastered before venturing out onto it. ABS helps enormously, but again the drivers needs to have prior experience of it before being taken by surprise when it matters. In this country, snow on the roads is probably not widespread enough for motorists to get used to it.

    Hugh Jones
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    I can see that they have rain but do the have just wet roads as that can be a killer and more space is needed to stop in. Further does it also include low sun, both from the point of view of the driver looking at it which is somewhat obvious but also when the sun is directly behind one and a shadow is being cast out in front. That one many forget about or have no knowledge of or driving towards the sun and on a wet road where the sunlight is shone into one’s eyes from the roads wet surface.. that one is a killer.

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