What typeface should we use in cars?

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Firstly, thanks to the guys at Immersion Active eBrief for listing this fascinating item of research.

Question. What is the best typeface to use in cars that assists the eyes of older drivers. You could just as well ask the question – What is the best fonts to use in retail outlets, hotels, etc etc.

Research conducted at MIT AgeLab has come up with some of the answers (for cars).

As I sit in my car, surrounded by screens, all screaming for my attention, anything that is going to make absorbing the information easier gets my vote.

Accordingly, MIT AgeLab and Monotype Imaging (who was involved in the research).. I quote:

It’s pretty well known in traffic-safety circles that a new typeface called “Clearview” got government approval for highway signs in 2004. It has since been adopted as an acceptable alternative by around 40 states. Studies show that drivers can recognize the new signs at night from up to 20 percent farther away, or about two seconds sooner at highway speeds.

The MIT AgeLab study found that improved typeface inside the car could have a similar effect, too. Specifically, with the right type face male test subjects got their eyes back on the road quicker, to the tune of about 50 feet of travel down the road at highway speeds.

How great to see that some people are studying the physical effects of ageing at this level of detail and coming up with solutions to help. Now all we need to do is encourage the rest of the corporate world to do the same.