Hazard Perception Test (HPT)

The Hazard Perception Test (HPT) is part of the licensing process. To progress from a learner driver licence to a P1 licence, you need to first pass the HPT, then pass the driving test.

Changes to the Graduated Licensing Scheme from 20 November 2017

Changes are coming for L, P1 and P2 drivers - find out how this will affect you.

What is the HPT?

The HPT is a computer-based touch screen test that measures your ability to recognise potentially dangerous situations on the road and respond appropriately. It aims to make sure learner drivers have enough hazard perception skills to progress to a P1 licence.

The test questions and situations focus on the five most common crash types for NSW provisional drivers.

The test uses film clips of real traffic situations. In each clip, you’ll be asked to respond by touching the screen, for example when you would slow down, overtake, or turn at an intersection.

There are 15 film clips in the test. You’ll be given two clips to practice on, before the test begins.

Inexperienced drivers are at risk

Statistics show that young drivers aged under 25 are involved in 3 times more crashes than drivers aged 21 or more.

An obvious reason for this is that young drivers have had less time and fewer opportunities to develop the good hazard perception skills we all need to drive safely.

Some young drivers also knowingly take risks, probably because they have not yet had personal experience of the consequences of a crash where someone is killed or injured.

The 5 most common crash types

Almost 80% of crashes involving provisional drivers in NSW fall into these 5 crash types:

  • 33% - rear end collision
  • 17% - collisions at intersections, usually with a vehicle coming from the left or right
  • 15% - head-on collisions
  • 9% - running off a straight section of road and hitting an object
  • 8% - running off the road on a curve and hitting an object.

Risk factors

The most likely reasons for a provisional driver to be involved in a crash are:

  • Travelling too closely behind other vehicles
  • Driving too fast for the conditions
  • Not looking far enough ahead when driving
  • Choosing gaps that are too small when making turns, crossing intersections or overtaking.

What is a hazard?

A hazard is a possible source of danger that could lead to an incident. Safe drivers know how to spot them in time and take actions that will avoid incidents.

Hazards can include pedestrians crossing the road, road works, broken-down vehicles and other cars stopping ahead of you or entering from side roads.

Building your hazard perception skills - practice tests

To help you acquire hazard perception skills and prepare for the HPT, you’ll need to study the Hazard Perception Handbook. You can view the handbook online, or purchase it from any registry or service centre.

There are also 5 interactive modules available, to help you practice many of the skills you need to pass the HPT and stay alive on the road.

These practice modules are not examples of the actual test questions. In the real test, you’ll be shown real traffic situations. The practice modules are animations demonstrating the main concepts of hazard perception, including stopping and following distance, safe gaps, and scanning for hazards.

Note: You need Adobe Flash Player version 4 or above to access the modules.

Instructions for using the practice modules

  • Use the sliders to control distance
  • Control your speed with the + and buttons
  • Choose options from pull-down menus 
  • Use arrows to select a left or right hand turn, and to look to the left, centre or right.

Practice modules

When to take the test

Once you’ve held your learner licence for at least 10 months, you can attempt the HPT. However you should not feel under any pressure to attempt the test immediately.

You should only attempt the HPT when you have sufficient driving experience, have carefully studied the Hazard Perception Handbook and applied the information to your driving. You can continue to drive on your learner licence for as long as you need, provided you pass a Driver Knowledge Test and pay the test and licence fees.

Booking your HPT

When you’re ready to take the test, you’ll need to make a booking and pay the test fee. You can book online, by phoning 13 22 13, or in person at any registry or service centre.

Taking the test

At your booked time, you’ll need to attend the nominated location to do your test. You’ll need to provide a completed Licence Application form and prove your identity.

Taking the test in another language

The HPT is available in:

  • English
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Croatian
  • Greek
  • Korean
  • Serbian
  • Spanish
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese

A free interpreter service is also provided to applicants who need to take the test in any other language. Please call 13 77 88 to make arrangements for an interpreter.

Special needs or learning difficulties

If you have trouble understanding or reading the questions, our staff can assist by reading questions to you, and explaining the test questions.

An audio version of the test (where you listen to the questions being asked through headphones) is also available, in all of the languages listed in the previous section.

If you have special needs, you (or your representative) should call 13 77 88 to discuss any issues or special arrangements you may require before you book the test.

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