Whilst searching around the daily motoring news and views I came across the news that motorists are increasingly unaware of what all the lights and information on their dashboards actually meant.
It is in some ways quite amusing, but mostly it is not surprising at all!
Cars Increasingly More Complex
Cars are becoming increasingly more complicated both under the bonnet and inside too. A number of weeks ago I was riding in the passenger seat of a new Honda Insight, and I have to say, I had absolutely no idea what the futuristic dashboard was telling me without reading the manual. Which to be honest, most people don’t.
Including my very own mother who has owned her Vauxhall Corsa for three years and only last week found out that the windows can be controlled from outside the car by holding down the buttons on the key fob to make the windows go up or down, depending on whether you are opening or locking the car, and she only found out because we were at a Vauxhall dealer looking at newer models and the salesman explained it was a feature that had been around for a while now!
Study Reveals Shocking Stats
Furthermore, a recent survey that was carried out revealed that we spend around 360 hours in our cars every year and yet nearly half of us could not name some of the basic warning lights. It would seem that men are slightly more knowledgeable than women in this area with around 39% of men being able to identify where the main beam hazard was compared to just 28% of women.
The figure that concerns me is that only 12% of women and 7% of men could point out the handbrake warning light. That is worryingly low, and the handbrake warning light, you would have thought, is quite an important thing to be aware of.
By not knowing the simple warning lights, someone could potentially be driving around unaware that there is a fault with their vehicle, which could increase the likelihood of a driver having an accident, which could in turn lead to them having to pay out on an excess on a motor insurance claim if the accident is proven to be their fault. In addition, by driving around with a fault it is also likely that the issue with the car could develop and thus end up costing owners thousands of pounds more to have the problem repaired.
The moral of the story here is quite obvious: we should all take time to read our car manuals and familiarise ourselves with all aspects of the car before setting out on our first drive in a newly purchased car. Whilst some people may indeed not be too interested in the particular features of a car, it is still very important to know what all the lights on the dashboard mean!