BILLY Ocean once sang about Red Light Spells Danger.
But the truth is that motorists are more likely to remember that record than what their emergency warning lights mean on their instrument panel.
New research has revealed that millions of Brits are unaware of what the symbols on their dashboard are trying to convey to them despite some being emergency warning lights.
You may see some of these signals everyday but be completely oblivious to the fact that ignoring them could be the difference between a quick fix and a costly repair job.
Some of these lights are obvious and drivers should know them, such a directional indicators and headlamp indicators, but it seems that some symbols are trickier to decipher.
According to a new survey of 2,000 drivers, nine in ten drivers have had a symbol appear on their dashboard which they haven’t recognised before.
In addition to this, one in three cannot identify a headlamp indicator and 27 per cent cannot label the ‘check engine’ sign.
Another problem British motorists are faced is understanding the symbols.
According to the study, even when people do know the indicators or warning lights, few know how to manage or solve the problem.
Two thirds of these surveyed were unsure how to check the engine oil, just under half couldn’t change a tyre and 44 per cent wouldn’t know how to tackle the windscreen wipers.
In addition to this, 58 per cent of motorists have no idea of what the tyre tread depth limit should be, how to check or when it becomes illegal.
Driving with illegal tyres or tyres that are at an illegal level can land you colossal fines of £2,500 per tyre and three penalty per tyre – meaning four illegal tyres could see you land a driving ban, and just two for motorists who have been driving for two years or fewer.
David Carter, spokesman for Accident Advice Helpline, said: “It’s worrying how little drivers know about their own cars.
“Knowing the meaning of a dashboard symbol on your car could be the difference between having an accident or not.”
The study also revealed that out 16 per cent of drivers would now try and fix a problem that occurred with the car itself.
Under half admitted they would look online to try and figure out what a warning light meant and three per cent would continue to driver their car regardless of warning until it actually began to feel unsafe.
Now we bet you can’t Billy Ocean tune out of your head…