There are at least two ways to think about the problem of distracted driving. We could try to get people to cut down on all of the stuff that’s distracting them — texting, fielding phone calls, fiddling with in-car navigation screens at 50 miles an hour. Or we could acknowledge that drivers will probably keep doing all of those things anyway and try to mitigate the harm.
Cars, after all, have only grown more technologically sophisticated, more filled with screens and media and material to read. At this point, realistically, there’s no going back to the days of basic dashboards and radio dials.
“There’s always been some type of labeling in cars,” says Carl Crossgrove, a senior designer with the typeface design firm Monotype. “But we’re on the cusp of a huge jump in terms of the potential for distraction in driving because so many car-makers are about ready to launch models with touch screens, navigation, infotainment screens.”
Consider this 17-inch touch screen on the Tesla S, practically a MacBook Pro mounted in the cabin.