So what actually is a hazard?

Well, it can be anything that may cause a rider to change speed, direction, stop or even cause harm. Hazards can normally be grouped into categories such as:

• Other road users (e.g. pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, horses)

• Environmental (e.g. weather, road surfaces)

• Physical (e.g. bends, roundabouts, junctions)

Hazards do not operate as isolated entities and when several combine there is a real potential of risk. It is important therefore to recognise the hazards in order to give yourself plenty of time to react. Try to anticipate and prioritise the hazards, in turn positioning for safety.

Hazards during your riding test

During your test the examiner will expect you to use the OSM/PSL routine when approaching hazards.

Observation: Check your mirrors and where appropriate using a rear head check to gauge the distance and position of traffic behind you.

Signal: If changing direction or slowing down give clear and well timed indication.

Manoeuvre: This is the process that requires a change in speed or direction of which the following phases should be used in order: position, speed and then look.

Hazard Perception Test

You will encounter hundreds of hazards in your everyday riding such as roundabouts, junctions, traffic lights – these are known as static hazards.  However, static hazards are not what you will be scored on in your Hazard Perception exam, but rather your ability to spot a developing hazards. Visit our Hazard Perception Test page to learn more about how the hazard perception test and how it is marked.

So what is a developing hazard?

A developing hazard can be anything from a pedestrian stepping out into the road, a child running between parked cars, or a car exiting a drive way.  As part of developing your hazard perception skills it’s essential that you learn to look out for the early warning signs of a developing hazard.  But you must also be able to understand how different situations can potentially develop into a more serious hazard.  A good example of this is, you see a ball roll out across the road ahead of you, which could potentially be closely followed by a young child.  The sooner you learn to spot a developing hazard, the quicker you can react and avoid unnecessary action that could potentially cause a serious collision.

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