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Will changing the font be enough to prevent distraction?

While we don't quite have flying cars like they had in "The Jetsons," it is without a doubt true that our technology is far more advanced than it was even 10 years ago. For many of us in Lancaster, spending time away from our smartphones might seem impossible. We are so connected, however, that many people try to use their smartphones while driving, despite the statewide ban on texting while driving. The desire to text, check emails or surf the web while driving home makes sense, but there is a reason behind the ban.

It can be incredibly dangerous to look away from the road while driving. It only takes the briefest of distractions to cause an accident. Despite knowing its dangers and recognizing that it is illegal, there are a number of people who still use their smartphones behind the wheel. The question is, however, whether a font that takes less time to read and process would reduce the risk of an accident.

Designers believe it could, so much so that they have created a new font with distracted driving in mind. The typeface, called Burlingame, is meant to be used on car technologies and the other pieces of equipment that we look at in the car.

Although simpler fonts have been shown to reduce the amount of time spent with distractions (at least in men), it is unknown how long this technology will take to roll out. Until then, there will continue to be people in Lancaster who will be texting and driving, putting other motorists at risk of severe injuries.

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

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