Improve Your Hazard Perception Capabilities and Defensive Driving Skills

To skillfully handle traffic, you need to sharpen your perception to recognize possible hazards early and spontaneously take defensive action.

What is hazard?

Hazard scenario requires a driver to change speed, direction, or position of the car. These are caused because of static road features like dips, bridges, traffic lights, junctions, road works, beds, ice, spilt oil, etc or due to road user’s actions or a combination of both.

Hazard perception

Perception in driving means art to pick vital details, which help you to sense what possibly can happen. A perceptive driver needs to be on a lookout all the time for clues to imagine what happens next.

Hazard perception skills only get developed with experience during your sessions with training instructor. book theory test online includes hazard perception test, where you will need to apply your skills to get good scores.

Main factors driver needs to consider

Road signs

You get warning in advance of what is ahead, so train yourself to consider road signs, so as to act accordingly.


You may be near a school and possibly children may be moving around. Consider the kind of hazard and slow speed to stop safely, if needed.

Time of day

If you notice a warning sign for cattle, be vigilant especially at sunrise or twilight because cows may be moving ahead or around the next corner.

Other road users

Pedestrians, especially the old ones cannot judge distance or speed. Moreover, their response can be slow, so if you see them look for clues like are they carrying a stick or did they notice you, and more.

Children are interested in playing their games and when they hear the ice-cream man shouting, they just run blindly. Look for clues like if one kid runs on the road then there often is a second one following. Cycles abandoned on the side of road means children are nearby.

Animals are sensitive to noise and vehicles. Therefore, drive slowly and never sound your horn when you see one. Carefully watch their behavior, especially if a horse is ridden.

Cyclists can wobble, so drivers need to control their vehicles and leave plenty of room to allow the cyclists to ass by safely.

Motorcyclists cannot be recognized easily at twilight and night. They take unusual road positions, so as to stay away from bumps and hones on road surface. Emerging motorcyclists at junctions are easy to miss, so be careful.


In case, you are doubtful about the moves of driver in front or on the side then leave space between your car and theirs. Look for drivers action like he may just have stopped and will open the door suddenly or a driver may be a stranger to the area and without signal turn at the last minute.

Large vehicles

Large vehicles need more space to turn at the junctions, so hold back, and let them have the space.

Defensive driving

Defensive driving skills need to be done effectively with –

  • Look ahead and detect hazards early
  • Apply hazard drill at the right time {Mirror, signal, position, speed, gear or (MSPSG)}
  • Give oneself lots of space

There is no need for concern because with experience your judgment will be developed.

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