Gocompare.com - Dashboard Warning Lights

Almost half of motorists don’t understand their car's dashboard warning lights


As colder weather and darker nights draw in, motorists must take extra precautions to ensure that their vehicles are equipped to deal with the driving hazards associated with these conditions. However, research by Gocompare.com1 found that millions2 of motorists are unable to recognise the warning signs that something may be wrong with their vehicle, putting themselves and other road users at risk.

Thanks to technological advancements modern cars are packed with complex electronics and sensors that help make drivers’ lives easier, but they can also help them to better understand how their vehicle is behaving.

While manufacturers are developing new ways to help cars to talk to their drivers, it seems that their efforts may be falling on deaf ears. Research commissioned by Gocompare.com found that almost half (48%) of drivers were unable to identify their vehicles dashboard warning lights.

With the winter months bringing with them wet and icy conditions it’s crucial that drivers know when their car is trying to alert them to potential problems - such as issues with their tyres or braking systems.

Read the manual

As driving technology becomes increasingly advanced you could find that you’re not entirely familiar with you cars features.

Of those surveyed, just 40% said that they had read their car’s driver manual. While this may seem like a tedious task, your manual is filled with important information that could help you to keep your car in a good state of repair and avoid a collision.

You’ll also find information on the warning lights that appear in your vehicle and their meanings.

Click the image below to see Gocompare's infographic on vehicle warning lights.


Your legal obligation

Motorists have a legal obligation to ensure that their car is kept in a roadworthy condition. So understanding when something is wrong with your car could help you to avoid a fine or points on your licence.

Ignoring warning lights could mean your car falling into a state of disrepair and lead to a collision, and failing to keep your car in a roadworthy condition could even invalidate your car insurance.

Diagnose the problem and do it yourself

Having a full working knowledge of your cars warning lights could help to save you money too. Identifying issues early means avoiding more serious problems in the long run. Many tasks – such as checking your oil level or tyre pressure – can be done at home, helping you to save a pretty penny on maintenance costs.

See Gocompare.com’s essential motoring checklist for more information on car maintenance jobs you can perform at home.

1 Between18 and 24 May, 2016, OnePoll conducted an online survey among 2,000 randomly selected car owners aged 18 and over.

2 DVLA holds records for 45.5 million active motorists in GB as of 30 September, 2014

Motorists who said they understood the meaning of their dashboard lights - 52% of 45.4 million = 23,660,000

45,500,000 – 23,660,000 = 21,850,000 motorists do not understand the meaning of their dashboard warning lights

Tags: winter technology