Text Type in Car Dashboards Could be Distracting Drivers

Text Type in Car Dashboards Could be Distracting Drivers | Pintas & Mullins Law Firm

Driver distraction causes many of the nation’s reported car accidents. An article in USA Today reveals that certain fonts and sizes of text in the displays of car dashboards may very well be one of the causes for distracted driving. Chicago car accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm warn of the danger inherent in distracted driving that puts the driver, passengers and pedestrians at risk.

A recent study found that modifying the typeface on dashboard displays reduces the amount of time that drivers have their eyes off the road by about 11 percent. A representative of the software company that sponsored the study said that the reduction in “glance time” corresponds to a distance of about 50 feet when moving at highway speed.

A research scientist and one of the study’s authors noted that text in cars will continue, therefore this text has to be as effortless to read as possible. He also said that cell phone developers will have to additionally look into the aspects of font type and size particularly because more and more cars could project Smartphone elements onto dash displays.

A researcher on the study pointed out that one of the commonly found car fonts communicated energy and power. However, it was so tightly spaced and condensed that certain letters could not be made out from others. A spokesman of an association of 12 vehicle manufacturers said that automakers are looking into this and other vehicle-driver interfaces that could divert attention from the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving crashes were responsible for approximately 3000 deaths last year. Of 900,000 distracted driving crashes reported to the police the year before, more than a third were caused by drivers adjusting the controls or devices in a car.

Some safety experts are concerned about the trend of some luxury automakers allowing drivers to read fragments of social media, emails and text on dashboard displays. However, many others are of the opinion that this is actually safer than drivers reading this text on their mobile phones. Though the NHTSA isn’t researching fonts, the agency welcomes any creative advancement that may reduce the length of time a driver’s eyes are away from the road.

Electronics – Top Distraction for Teenage Drivers

Another related article in the Huffington Post reveals that the main factor contributing to distracted teen driving behavior is electronic devices. The study was based on video recordings captured over the course of six months and covering 52 teens in action at the wheel.

The majority of the drivers captured in the various video clips were 16-years-old. About seven percent of all the clips showed the teens using of some sort of gadget. The most common electronic activities that the teen drivers engaged in while driving were texting and talking.

Other findings of the study include: more experienced and older high school drivers use electronic devices twice as much as younger ones. And female drivers are two times more likely than their male counterparts to utilize their phones while driving. 

Distraction Reduces Brain Activity for Driving

Distraction.gov, the official US government website for distracted driving, tells us that cell phone use while driving reduced the quantity of brain activity connected to driving by 37 percent. The website also lists some other kinds of distractions to drivers – reading, talking to passengers, eating and drinking, and grooming.

As Distraction.Gov says, the best way of tackling the problem of distracted driving is to instruct all Americans about how risky it is. If you have been involved in an accident because of the distracted driving of another driver, an experienced car accident attorney can help protect your legal rights.