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Can you pass this simple bike perception test?

Hazard perception test

A world-first online motorcycle-specific hazard perception test has identified a scenario where a SMIDSY crash was partially the rider’s fault.

The Western Australian Department of Transport (DoT) adopted the computer video tests developed by Austroads last year as part of the assessment process for obtaining a motorcycle licence. In that time, almost 2000 riders have completed the test.

It shows three scenarios:Hazard perception test

  • Riding down a suburban street at night with a vehicle coming from a side street on the left;Hazard perception test
  • Approaching gravel on a country road; andHazard perception test
  • Making a right turn at traffic lights.

The participant is supposed to hit a button at an appropriate time to: slow down as you approach the vehicle coming from the side street; slow down before hitting the gravel; and turn right after all vehicles, including a motorcycle, have cleared the intersection.

Rider perception

While riders may think all SMIDSY (Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You) crashes are the other motorist’s fault, the first scenario identifies that the rider shares the blame.

The driver could easily come out of the side street as they could not see the rider who is masked by a car that is turning into that street. The driver is legally at fault, but the blame is shared by the rider for not foreseeing the situation.

The rider should have slowed when the masking vehicle put on its left turn indicator. They could also have flashed their lights, blown the horn or changed lane position to be seen and/or heard.

It’s a typical SMIDSY situation where the rider should have anticipated that the driver couldn’t see them.

You can be legally in the right, but still dead!

The last scenario is also a possible SMIDSY where the rider could turn after an approaching car turns in front of them only to run into an approaching rider that was hidden.Hazard perception test


WA has also adopted four online tests for car drivers, but only one includes motorcycles as potential hazards.

It is a shame the motorcycle SMIDSY scenarios are not included in the driver tests.

  1. The car that pulls out in the first scenario will always be legally in the wrong if he hits someone coming down the outside lane. Yes, the rider should slow down in anticipation – no point your dying words being “I was in the right” – but that doesn’t make the crash his “fault”.

    1. Correct. No-one is saying the rider is to blame…but by failing to respond appropriately to a developing situation, the rider HAS to take some responsibility for being hit by the car. After all, the rider can see the car and he should be very aware that the car driver can’t see him.

  2. The middle test re gravel. Who ‘wrote’ that one? It’s a straight road, there are clearly defined wheel tracks, the gravel does not consist of big boulders and a light touch of the brakes around the Slippery Surface sign would be more than enough response to this ‘danger’. Mind you, I’ve been riding for a long time and a bit of gravel like the scenario shows does not represent a threat to me.

    1. Hi,
      I agree, hitting the brakes would be wrong in this case. However, slowing down is fine. Then you should actually ride through on the throttle.
      The test was prepared by Austroads.

      1. Exactly. The question was somewhat rhetorical. in that I think the writer does not know motorcycles insofaras this scenario is concerned.

  3. Our lives are in constant danger because were smaller & barely noticeable, so I treat them all with suspicious caution because regardless they’re all potential killers.

  4. I think that these tests are great, even though there are many additional scenarios that could. Anything that encourages drivers and riders to think more while on the road is positive.

    The original video was a little small for me however. Zooming in to full screen size made it a lot easier to view (and see the kangaroo).

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