To describe factors associated with driving history, habits, and self-reported driving difficulties of 1982 older adults in a population-based survey.
This was a community setting.
Age-stratified random population sample drawn from publicly available voter registration list.
Participants underwent assessments including cognitive testing and self-reported current and past driving status, instrumental activities of daily living, self-rated health, social supports, physical limitations, and depressive symptoms. We built multivariable logistic regression models to identify factors associated with never having driven, having ceased driving, and reporting difficulties while driving.
In the multivariable model, “never drivers” were more likely than “ever drivers” to be older, female, less educated and to leave home less frequently. Former drivers were significantly older, more likely to be women, have lower test performance in the cognitive domain of attention, have more instrumental activity of daily living difficulties, leave home less frequently and have visual field deficits in the right eye than current drivers. Current drivers with reported driving difficulties were more likely than those without difficulties to have lower test performance in attention but higher in memory, were more likely to report depressive symptoms and to have both vision and hearing loss.
Age, female sex, marital status, and education appear to be associated with driving cessation. Cognitive and functional impairments, mood symptoms and physical health also seem to influence driving cessation and reduction. Our findings may have implications for clinicians in assessing and educating their patients and families on driving safety.