Effects of Familiarity and Age on Driver Safety Errors During Wayfinding
Wayfinding is a critical skill that enables drivers to navigate from one location to another. Wayfinding abilities decline as individuals age, which may increase older driver reliance on directional cues (e.g. signs) and divert cognitive resources at the expense of vehicle control and safety. Familiarity with an environment can facilitate wayfinding due to previous knowledge of the route. This study examines the role of familiarity in driving safety errors committed during a wayfinding task. Results suggest that age-related driving difficulties can be lessened by familiarity with the environment. The results underscore the need to consider geographical license restrictions in administrative policies aimed at improving older driver safety.