Driving is a complex task that requires auditory, visual, and tactile attention. It is difficult enough for drivers to handle the increasing number of distractions when they are in a familiar environment, but what happens when drivers are placed in a new environment? If we understood this issue, we could design tools to reduce driving hazards and minimize distractions.
We address this gap by exploring drivers' behaviour when they encounter road signs from different countries. We conducted two eye-tracking studies with 50 participants. Participants' spent increased time looking at unfamiliar road signs. Misinterpretation occurred due to the influence of previous experience and many drivers drove at reduced speeds throughout to compensate for the anticipated cognitive load. We suggest developing context-aware in-vehicle systems that use web mapping services to present drivers with road signage information. Based on our results, we also provide four recommendations to improve driver safety.