There is at least one aspect about driving that unites the sexes: women can’t read maps and men always lose their keys …
That’s according to a British report that adds a further link: neither sex has a clue when it comes to identifying dashboard warning lights.
Nearly all motorists who were asked in a study by British insurance company Britannia Rescue to identify warning lights in many new vehicles struggled to work out what they meant.
Tyre pressure, engine emission and fog light indicators were the most confusing with 98 per cent of drivers failing to correctly identify all of them.
Motorists were tested on the 16 most common dashboard symbols. More than seven out of 10 did not recognise a tyre pressure warning light – one in 20 thought it was something to do with the oil or brakes.
More than a third (35 per cent) of drivers did not recognise an airbag warning symbol, with 27 per cent mistaking it for a seatbelt warning.
The Mercedes-Benz E Class was considered to be the most complex car featuring 41 warning lights – almost twice as many as the Volvo S40.
Peter Horton, the Britannia Rescue managing director, said: “Dashboard warning lights are like alarm bells telling you something is wrong with your car and urgent action may be required, either to prevent damage to your car or for your safety.
“If a warning symbol lights up, you should stop in a safe place as soon as possible and check what the problem is.
“Keep your vehicle manual handy so that you can easily check what that symbol means as well as what action to take.”