Tricky quiz leaves clueless drivers stumped about simple car dashboard symbols

Tricky quiz leaves clueless drivers stumped about simple car dashboard symbols

03/04/2022

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Among the symbols displayed include an oil warning sign, the bonnet not being closed, and a warning to check your coolant levels.

It comes as research shows clueless British drivers would struggle to identify more than half the warning signs on their car’s dashboard.

A study of 2,000 motorists revealed just a third felt confident they could recognise the brake warning light, while only 51 percent could identify the tyre pressure warning.

Less than six in ten (59 percent) were aware of what the battery warning light was, while nearly half wouldn’t be able to tell if their rear fog lights were on from looking at their dashboard.

Worryingly, 29 percent couldn’t confidently pick out the symbol to warn of low washer fluid, and 30 percent would be stumped if the engine oil warning light flashed up.

Younger people are less likely to know what different car signs mean, as 18- to 24-year-olds knew an average of just 32 percent of the symbols on their dashboard, compared to 52 percent for over 65s.

There is also a big gender divide, as men believed they could recognise 53 percent of the warning signs on their dashboard, compared to just 38 percent for women.

The survey has raised questions about road safety in Britain, with the average driver estimating they could only identify 45 percent of the lights and symbols on their dashboard.

However, 77 percent have been in a position where a warning light has come on while they were behind the wheel.

It’s important that people are aware of the possible hazards which the warning lights tell drivers about their vehicle

Limvirak Chea, Fixter Co-Founder and CEO

Limvirak Chea, co-founder and CEO at Fixter, which commissioned the research, said: “These figures are troubling and show there’s a lot to be done to make Britain’s roads safe.

“It’s important that people are aware of the possible hazards which the warning lights tell drivers about their vehicle.

“By getting your car regularly checked and making sure you get your MOT done, this can offset any future problems you may have further down the line.”

The study also found that, of those who have had a warning light appear while driving, just 14 percent felt able to address it themselves.

Nearly half (48 percent) would call on a nearby garage, while 40 percent would speak to a family member, and 12 percent would speak to a passer-by or stranger.

But 37 percent admitted to ignoring a warning light, with more than one in 20 of those pretending it wasn’t there – for a year or more.

Not considering it to be important as the car was still running fine was the top reason for ignoring it (27 percent), followed by fears over how much it would cost (15 percent) and simply forgetting (11 percent).

However, nearly half of driver (48 percent) said not addressing the warning light once it appeared led to a more costly repair.

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found 58 percent of drivers think the symbols on modern car dashboards are too complicated.

But 72 percent think not addressing dashboard warnings is dangerous.

As a result, 30 percent have taken their car into the garage for an early MOT after seeing a warning light appear.

More than half (55 percent) of motorists would take their vehicle to an independent garage to get a warning sign checked, with one in four (24 percent) getting their car checked at a dealership.

Trust (56 percent), reliability (52 percent), convenience (48 percent) and cost (40 percent) were all cited as the top reasons for taking their vehicle to their garage of choice.

Limvirak Chea, from Fixter, added: “If things do go seemingly wrong, it’s important to know where to put them right.

“Our skilled network of independent garages across the country are all vetted to ensure motorists have access to top rated mechanics, so you can be confident if anything does go wrong, you’re in capable hands.”

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