As a coach, you’ll need to prepare your restricted license driver for the hazard detection and response tasks in the full licence test.

Scanning for hazards and the hazard action plan

To identify hazards, your learner should be constantly scanning all around the car.

Check they’re:

  • scanning 12-seconds ahead
  • checking their blind spots and mirrors.

Good scanning skills will build up a bigger picture of what’s going on around the car. It gives the driver time to use the hazard action plan:

  • Identify, Predict, Decide, Act.

Verbal hazard and response tasks

New drivers need to understand what is considered a hazard in the full licence test and the type of response that the testing officer is looking for.

For the test, a hazard is ‘anything that’s moving, or might move, that you could realistically collide with or run over while driving’.

Hazards include:

  • pedestrians
  • other motor vehicles
  • other road users, such as people riding bicycles.

During each assessed task, the testing officer will ask the driver to say out loud:

  • what each hazard is
  • where the hazard is in relation to their car
  • what they’re doing about it.

These responses don’t have to be long – a few simple words will do.

Here’s an example of how a driver might identify and respond to a hazard in the full test:

  • The driver spots oncoming traffic. They say to the testing officer ‘oncoming traffic’.
  • They then explain their response to the hazard by saying, ‘keeping left to keep a safe distance’.

Practising hazard identification and response

It can be hard to describe hazards out loud, so build up confidence with easier practice sessions first.

  • Start by discussing examples of hazards with your learner. Then get them to identify them from the passenger seat while you drive.
  • Next, switch places. Get your learner to identify the hazards and where they are as they drive.

Once your learner can do this, repeat the above, but this time ask them to tell you what they’re going to do about the hazard as well.

Coaching tips

• If your learner misses or incorrectly describes a hazard or response, make sure that you provide immediate feedback.
• Begin practising in a quiet area with a small number of hazards. Gradually build up to busier areas with multiple hazards.
• Keep it simple. Don’t overdo the detail. Don’t worry about using complete sentences, as long as it’s clear what they’re meaning.
• Practise at different locations and at different times of day. This provides your learner with a wide variety of hazards.
As your learner gains experience, identifying and reacting to hazards will become easier for them.

What happens during the full licence test