Technology Adoption and Use Across the Lifespan: The Impact of Typeface on Driver Distraction

Fonts are a critical design element of any user interface that portrays a style and identity. In safety critical applications such as driving an automobile, basic readability and the ability to quickly target and identify information of interest is critical to reducing workload and preventing distraction. The importance of providing a driver with a visual user interface in which controls can be rapidly identified and information easily read appears self-evident. It appears that the fonts commonly used in vehicle interfaces may not provide an optimal level of legibility for the glance based viewing requirements of an in-vehicle display. While significant investment has been placed on typeface optimization in respect to the driver vehicle interfaces (e.g. ISO 15008, 2009) these standards are informed by traditional stamped media and primarily focus on the extrinsic characteristics of the font's display (size, weight color, etc.), not the intrinsic characteristics of the font's individual letter forms and the characteristics of modern electronic display. This project aims to assess a select set of hypotheses on aspects of typeface design and its impact on driver behavior. The overall goal of this work will be to assess the impact of font legibility on driver behavior and the potential reduction in driver distraction.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Contract to a Performing Organization has not yet been awarded.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $140000.00
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Start Date: 20120101
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160131
  • Source Data: RiP Project 35268

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01492605
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: New England University Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC01, MITR24-8
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Sep 11 2013 1:00AM