Which motoring mishaps are you guilty of?

When my husband filled up our diesel car with petrol twice within a month, I nearly burst a blood vessel. But it seems he is far from alone when it comes to making motoring mistakes.
Those two particular mishaps set us back a painful £400 in total, but a new study of motorists by car and van retailer Evans Halshaw reveals that plenty of others drivers have made similar costly clangers. More than 2,000 motorists were questioned on their driving and car knowledge, with some shocking results.

Fuel fools

One in four motorists admitted to the same expensive error of filling up their tank with the wrong fuel, while others confessed to having put screen wash in the oil tank or to mistaking air freshener for de-icer. Other faux pas revealed by the research include:
  • Mounting a kerb while driving
  • Not knowing how to open the bonnet
  • Running out of fuel mid-journey
  • Driving the wrong way down a one-way street
  • Turning window wipers on instead of lights
While all these motoring mishaps might sound amusing, some of them are downright terrifying, especially if you consider that the people who admit to them are actually loose on our roads.

On the other hand…

Perhaps the most disturbing finding is that one in 10 drivers think that we drive on the right hand side of the road in the UK, while over a third claim to have completely forgotten everything they learnt in their driving test. Equally disturbing is the fact that one in four motorists turn a blind eye to any warning lights on their dashboard because they don’t understand what they mean. One respondent even thought their tyre pressure needed attention when warning lights started flashing, only to discover later that they’d been driving with the handbrake on.

Back to basics

Andrew Waggott, spokesman at Evans Halshaw commented: ''The longer you have been driving the easier it is to forget basic rules and many drivers do become complacent over time. “Not every car is exactly the same, so it’s important to know the basics before driving any vehicle. And when you purchase a new car, you should take time to familiarise yourself with all the controls and warning lights.”

Dohs and don’t’s…

There are plenty of other motoring mistakes that the drivers questioned confessed to.
One thought that it wasn’t legal to drive on motorways before the age of 30, while another driver complained her car was guzzling petrol too quickly, without realising she’d been stuck in second gear for the past 100 miles. Nearly one in four respondents said they’d driven the wrong way up a one way street and a third of motorists regularly drive around a roundabout at least twice because they don’t know which exit they need. I will confess that I am (occasionally) among the 21% of people who gets confused about which side their petrol cap is on. Unlike 10% of drivers, however, I am aware that tyres actually have to be inflated with (wait for it…) air. Waggott said; “The lack of knowledge some people have around basic car maintenance is a concern, and some of these mistakes would certainly lead to costly repair bills, or at worse, putting yourself or other road users in danger with an increased risk of an accident.”

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