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Could new style of font reduce distracted driving accidents?

In our last post, we talked about a fatal wreck in Phoenix. It is possible that this crash involved a distracted driver, but we will have to wait and see what investigators find out until we know for sure. Distracted driving has been and will always be a problem on U.S. roadways — well, at least until we perfect self-driving vehicles. But even then there could be problems with a texting driver in an emergency scenario.

We’re going off on a bit of a tangent here, but the point is this: using a cellphone while driving is a safety issue, and it needs to be fixed. But this is why this issue is more complex than it may seem. How do you fix something that, admittedly, will probably always be a problem? Is it just an idealist fantasy to think we could “eliminate” cellphone use while driving?

That leaves us with two schools of thought. There are those who want to rid the world of drivers who text and make phone calls, and there are those who acknowledge this problem isn’t going away and, thus, measures should be taken to make cellphone use while driving as safe as possible. The latter is what gives us headsets, and hands-free technology, and improving audio commands to help drivers use their phones without taking their eyes off the road.

Cars are only getting more complicated though. Dash-mounted computers and highly complicated technology require the driver to pay more than just a little bit of attention to all of the bells and whistles in their vehicle. What can be done to limit the amount of time a driver has to look at these screens, given this reality?

The company Monotype believes a special font for car technology could make it easier to read and reduce the amount of time a driver spends looking at a screen. Dubbed “Burlingame,” the font was released this week specifically with the intent to reduce distracted driving accidents.

Source: Washington Post, “A remarkably small idea that could reduce distracted driving,” Emily Badger, April 7, 2014

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