No Paradise By The Dashboard Lights

A small avatar of a white male with blonde hair and beard wearing a white shirt and red tie beneath a blue jacket.
By Ben Scott
Marketing Manager

Meat Loaf may have found Paradise By The Dashboard Lights, but where most drivers are concerned, all they find is confusion and headaches. If you are one of the motorists confused by your dashboard symbols, you are not alone. When it comes to misinterpreting dashboard symbols it appears to be a widespread problem with a recent study determining 44% of motorists misidentified their ‘speed limiter’ light, and 33% of motorists incorrectly believed the symbol for their ‘stop-start system’ meant air recirculation.

Dashboard lights are similar to the symbols found on clothing labels; we know a few of them, have an educated guess what a few others mean, and totally ignore the rest. Or perhaps that’s just me?

Vehicles are evolving, and as more technology is built into the systems our dashboards are becoming more cluttered and crammed with various information, lights and hieroglyphs. Generally speaking, the symbols on a dashboard are colour coded to help motorists understand the seriousness of the information being conveyed. RED is usually the one to be aware of as this indicates a serious issue with your vehicle, whereas ORANGE tends to be more a caution that a service or repair may soon be needed. BLUE and GREEN are illuminated simply to indicate that a system is active or a feature is in use.

Some amusing descriptions of dashboard symbols include:

  • “Dripping genie lamp.”
  • “Weird yellow submarine.”
  • “Square robot head one.”
  • “Bloke in a deckchair sunbathing.”
  • “Water fountain conductor thing.”

We can laugh at these descriptions, but the concerning observation is that these are all common symbols that most drivers should recognise.

According to many motorists who are purchasing newer vehicles are missing out on some key beneficial features that they pay extra for, simply because they are unfamiliar with how they work. We live in a society where everybody competes with each other to have all singing and all dancing technology, but for most people it is a waste of money unless you take the time to learn how it works. Imagine a relative who has bought an iPhone X but only uses it to send SMS’s and never makes use of any of the other features or functionality; you’d think it was a waste of money and they should have stuck with a Nokia 3210.

The latest advice coming from the industry is an urge for motorists to acquaint themselves with owners manuals when purchasing a new vehicle to ensure they make the most of the features they are paying for. Dashboard lights can be confusing, but with the right knowledge they can transform your driving experience into a more enjoyable, less stressful, and reliably informed experience.

Do you believe yourself to be a bit of a know it all where dashboard lights are concerned? Have you ever assumed you knew what a dashboard light meant, only to have it come back to bite you when you broke down? Have you got any amusing interpretations of any of the lights on your dashboard? Be sure to head over to social media and let us know @connect_insure on Twitter and @cibltd on Facebook.

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