Outdated hazard perception tests

New research from LV= General Insurance has found that over half (53%) of newly qualified drivers – almost two million people – say the current hazard perception test is out of date and is in need of modernisation.

The current test contains hazards such as cyclists, cars turning ahead and horse riders, but new drivers told LV= that a number of ‘modern’ risks weren’t included. For example, the most common ‘modern’ hazards include potholes, pedestrians on mobile phones, children on scooters, and even vape clouds from vehicle windows. One in six of new drivers say they find it difficult to spot these ‘modern’ hazards.

Worryingly, nearly half of new drivers say the hazard perception test didn’t prepare them for life on the road, and a further 57% said they don’t believe other new drivers are prepared to deal with the driving hazards they face.

The hazard perception test was introduced in 2002 and since then, the hazard content has not been updated. Yet, more than half (54%) of all drivers say that hazards on our roads have changed and there are now more of them than when they started driving.

As a result of these findings, LV= is calling on the government to update the hazard perception test, so that newly qualified drivers are better prepared for today’s roads.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, commented, ‘In recent years, more accidents have occurred due to ‘modern’ driving hazards. For example, year-on-year we have seen an increase in the number of incidents due to potholes. Our advice to new drivers is to expect the unexpected. That’s why we are supporting LV’s call to make sure the hazard perception test is kept relevant so it better-prepares new drivers for the hazards they’ll face.’