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Enhanced Sign Legibility and Recognition with the Clearview Font: A Field Study of Illinois Drivers

Illinois Interstate drivers were interviewed at four locations to gauge legibility differences between the Clearview and E-modified font in natural driving conditions. The driver interview, based on a comprehensive literature review of the Clearview font, asked drivers to identify which of six signs they recalled seeing before exiting and to evaluate the legibility of those signs. The survey also measured indicators of driver skill, familiarity, driving stress, and overall satisfaction with driving on the interstate. The qualitative and quantitative results of the driver survey, combined with the experience of Illinois and other states regarding Clearview, suggest that sign legibility alone does not vastly improve driver awareness. Age, familiarity with the road, traffic volume, time of day, and the length of driver’s license ownership were not statistically significant in explaining the number of signs drivers noticed or whether drivers found signs easy to read. The analysis suggests a range of factors mostly relating to roadway design have the greatest influence on the driving task. Some drivers complained that signs were confusing or there was not enough advance notice. At intercept locations which recently underwent major reconstruction, drivers tended to notice that signs seemed “brighter” and “bigger” than before construction, which are qualities of the background sheeting material and increased sign dimensions, respectively. These results corroborate past evidence that sheeting materials may influence legibility regardless of font, as font and sheeting material were confounded in this study.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AHB50 Traffic Control Devices.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Frei, Charlotte
    • Mahmassani, Hani S
    • Saberi, Meead
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2013


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 92nd Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01478196
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 13-4565
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 5 2013 12:59PM