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Dashboard light confusion for drivers

Written by: Neil

Motorists up and down the country are struggling to decipher the myriad warning lights that pop up on their dashboards in new cars.

The latest AA-Populus poll of more than 2,000 AA members across the UK has revealed around half (53 per cent) of UK vehicle owners do not know what many of the warning lights on their dashboard mean, but they would examine their car’s manual to find out if needed.

However, around one-quarter (26 per cent) said they would immediately call a breakdown services provider. As a result, the AA revealed it attends approximately 17,000 warning light-related callouts each year.

Worryingly, four per cent of respondents stated they would continue to drive for a considerable amount of time before taking their vehicle to a garage to have the issue looked at. At the same time, 96 respondents (less than one per cent) said they would simply ignore the warning.

AA breakdown patrol officer of the year Max Holdstock commented: “Although most warning light symbols are standardised, many are not, and with some car dashboards resembling the Starship Enterprise, it’s no wonder that some drivers are left bewildered.

“If it’s a new vehicle, it’s often that they’re not familiar with a warning light; and, if it’s a second-hand car, sometimes because the handbook is missing.”

The AA also revealed there is generally a spike in the number of warning light-related callouts following the bi-annual introduction of new registrations. This was cited as a result of the increased number of drivers that purchase new cars at this time.


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