Eno Center for Transportation
In 1984, researchers determined that the readability of state drivers' manuals exceeded the average literacy levels in the United States. Because text complexity threatened the ability of license applicants and practicing drivers to understand the information presented in the manuals, a potential safety risk was indicated. This study analyzes recent editions of the manuals using readability formulas and formal text presentation ratings. It was found that the average difficulty of the drivers' manuals was reduced by more than one grade level and that the 1994 manuals are clearly superior to their earlier versions, but that, in the interest of highway safety, improvements should still be sought.
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