Hazard Perception and anticipation

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What is meant by Hazard Perception?

A hazard is any kind of danger, where there is a risk of of being involved in some kind of collision. There are two kinds of dangers:

A fixed hazard such as;

  • Parked vehicles;
  • Traffic lights;
  • Roundabouts;
  • Pedestrian crossings;
  • A bend in the road;
  • Junctions;
  • An obstruction in  the road. 

A moving hazard, such as: 

  • Pedestrians
  • Animals
  • Other  vehicles – cars, cyclists, motorcyclist, busses and lorries.
The list is endless…
The job of a driver is to constantly identify these hazards.
 A qualified driver with good perceptual skills will ‘scan’ the road ahead.
 What this means is that the driver is constantly looking around for possible hazards, where they might have to take some kind of action such as slowing down or changing their position on the road. For example, the driver sees a parked vehicle ahead on the same side of the road as themselves (perception), they would need to steer towards the centre of the road to pass the vehicle. The driver would also need to be aware of any oncoming vehicle. this takes 100% concentration.


This means once you’ve identified the hazard, you should expect something might happen with the hazard where you may have to take some kind of action such s changing your speed or position depending on the hazard. For example:

  • A pedestrian waiting to cross at a zebra crossing;
  • A bus approaching a bus stop;
  • A driver pulling out of a junction in front of you;
  • A cyclist that is approaching a parked vehicle;
  • Traffic lights at green
There are many more situations  that you’ll have to anticipate.

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