Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Information overload when driving.

I recently came to UK and after a few months started driving here. One of the things that struck me here when driving is the amount of information that drivers have to process by way of signs, directions, speed limits, road markings, etc. The main culprits are the signs and the road signs.

The road signs, especially where I am at, Wales, are huge - almost essays that the user has to read, understand and process when driving at speeds that are not suitable for reading. One of the reasons for this is that the signs are bilingual, they are in English and Welsh. However, even if they are in a single language, they are too big to read at that speed.

Then comes the road markings. There are several markings on the road to give the driver warnings, indications, etc. There are yellow crosses, zig zag lines near the lights, horizontal lines, double and single yellow lines at the sides, white lines at the sides, chevrons, etc. The road is always covered with some marking or the other. The driver has to process this in addition to the signs.

I have driven in other countries, USA and India, and I felt that the roads in the USA were very good in giving the driver just the information needed and nothing else. I believe that the UK should look at the USAs road system.

I hope something is done to solve the problem. The first step is to identify that this is a problem and this article has researched a bit and I hope started the process.


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