ROME – With the advent of battery-powered propulsion, the digitized dashboards of hybrid, plug-in and electric cars host a new breed of warning lights and luminous symbols that, according to a survey by confused.com, are often misunderstood by drivers. The research carried out by the insurance site involved more than 2000 motorists from the European Union, and also examined the levels of understanding inherent in the symbols of machines equipped with a heat engine.
In the latter category, the ranking drawn up based on the percentage of incorrect answers sees the ABS warning light in the lead (35%) followed by tire pressure (32%), traction control (31%), airbag malfunction indicator (29 %) and air suspension malfunction (23%). According to the figures collected by the confused.com survey, the most recognized symbol is the one that indicates the fuel level (91% of correct answers) while the misunderstanding of the symbology tends to grow exponentially with the internal signage of plug-in hybrid vehicles. and full-electric.
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In the increasingly large category of rechargeable models on plug, the symbol that creates the most confusion is that of the electrical fault so that 80% of the drivers questioned do not associate it with a malfunction of batteries, engine or wiring. In second place with 77% of wrong answers, is the auto-glide warning light which on hybrid cars denotes the ability to maintain the pace independently. The top-three of the confusion is completed by the ready to drive symbol (68% of incorrect answers) which indicates how the propulsion system is ready to provide thrust and in this case, it is interesting to note how the Italians are in contrast thanks to a 69% of correct answers.
By analyzing the positions from four to ten, it turns out instead that 60% of the survey participants are not clear about the meaning of the electric-mode only warning light (exclusive use of the electric power-unit) usually present on hybrid cars while in fifth place in the standings at 59% of wrong answers, there is the spy with the turtle that in some Ev models including Tesla, signals limited power. Also on fully electric cars, the pedestrian alert symbol was misunderstood in 58% of the answers and the percentage points dropped to 53% with the pedestrian warning light symbolized by a human figure in the center of the lane. Both the aforementioned systems tend to incorporate the functions first of warning (light and sound signals) and then of prevention (by activating the brakes) if the driver does not react to the first input.
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In eighth position with 48% of wrong answers, there is the wrench symbol (indicates a general failure) and in ninth position (46% of wrong answers) we find the battery temperature warning present on the hybrids. The survey ranking finally ends with 38 wrong answers associated with the meaning of the E-mode unavailable warning light (electric mode unavailable). All the results reported in the article come from the website www.confused.com/car-insurance which, in view of the summer holidays, asked one of its experts – Alex Kindred – to reiterate the importance of the luminous symbols: “If you are leaving for a long journey it is essential to know the meaning of the warning lights on the dashboard.
Modern cars have one for every possible breakdown or malfunction and ignoring them can be a costly mistake. The lighting of some symbols such as the airbag warning and the low battery level must be taken seriously and knowing how to identify them correctly is essential for the driver, passengers and road safety in general “.