Topic 4 - Hazard Awareness

This multiple choice section will clarify and teach the pupil what is hazard awareness on the road.

What is Hazard Awareness?

The fourth topic from the multiple-choice section of the theory test is hazard awareness. As with many of the theory test topics, it’s rather straightforward to grasp. Hazards are things on the road that can force you to slow down, change your direction or come to a stop. It’s important that you’re able to identify these hazards early on so that you can make your observations and reduce your speed accordingly.

Learn some common signs

This sign on a vehicle indicates that the vehicle is a school bus.

These warning markers are fitted to vehicles over 13 metres long, large goods vehicles and rubbish skips placed in the road.

This sign is found on slow-moving or stationary works vehicles. Overtake on the left, as indicated by the arrow.

This sign means a sharp deviation to the left (right if the arrows face right)

Key Terms to learn.

Here are the key terms you will need to know in order to pass the multiple-choice section: Hazard Awareness


Whenever you drive towards a hazard you should reduce your speed. Hazards are anything that may make you slow down, change direction, or stop. Again, if you’re stuck for an answer always select the safest option.


Definition: The action of anticipating something; expectation or prediction.


Anticipation in driving is crucial to keeping yourself and others safe. Think about how your actions will affect those around you.


Definition: The state of needing to sleep or rest.


Being tired while driving is extremely dangerous, especially on a motorway. You should always ensure you are well-rested before driving.


Definition: The action of dealing with or taking special care of someone or something.


Driving always requires your full attention. You should always try to limit distractions when driving.

Reaction Time

Definition: The interval between a situation and the response.


When driving you should be aware of both your own and others’ reaction times. Older people usually have slower reaction times.

Drink/Drug Driving

Definition: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


Alcohol and drugs affect your reaction time by making you drowsy. This is the same for some medications. Always check the label or with your doctor before driving.

Hazard Awareness

Definition: To ensure that you are alert to the possibility of hazardous situations, and know what steps to take.


The behaviour of other vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians can forewarn you of potentially hazardous scenarios.


Definition: The act of breaking the speed limit while driving.


Inappropriate speed doesn’t always mean breaking the speed limit. It can mean driving too fast for your conditions, such as near schools or in wet/icy conditions.

The affects of alcohol on driving

Things to avoid when driving


When driving, if you start to feel tired you should always find a safe, convenient place to stop and rest. If no such place is immediately available you should open a window and allow a good supply of fresh air into the car.


Top tip: On a long journey always take regular rest breaks. Regular stops help maintain concentration.


If you have any current illness that is likely to negatively affect your driving ability then you should not drive. You should also avoid driving if you are taking medication that makes you tired or drowsy.


Note: If you start to suffer from an illness, which affects your driving, you should inform the licensing authority.


Maintaining high levels of concentration is essential for road safety. Whenever your concentration levels dip you should stop and rest until you are capable of maintaining the high levels of concentration needed to drive safely.


Top Tip: Avoid looking at maps, touching your radio, or using mobile phones while driving.

Be aware around vulnerable road users