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Attitudes to and Mobility Impacts of Driving Cessation: Differences Between Current and Former Drivers

Oxley, Jennifer PhD; Charlton, Judith PhD

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: January-March 2009 - Volume 25 - Issue 1 - p 43–54
doi: 10.1097/TGR.0b013e3181914aeb

Safe travel remains an essential goal for any society, however, recognition of the benefits of continued mobility and, conversely, serious consequences of loss of mobility must also be considered. Driving affords the greatest mobility for many older adults and this often means access to a private vehicle for as long as it is safe to drive. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that, at some point, most individuals need to consider retiring from driving and this is often described as a traumatic experience. However, this is not necessarily the case for all drivers—how and when this decision is made can make a significant difference to the outcome. This study examined differences in attitudes toward driving cessation, life satisfaction, and mobility between current and former drivers. Surveys of adults 60 years and older were conducted in 3 Australian jurisdictions. The study highlights some of the factors that are associated with a more acceptable transition to nondriving and those that have a more favorable mobility outcome. These findings have implications for road safety professionals, clinicians, and geriatric specialists, particularly developing and using resources, information, and training programs to assist a smooth transition from driving to nondriving.

From the Accident Research Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Corresponding author: Jennifer Oxley, PhD, Accident Research Centre, Monash University, Melbourne 3800, Victoria, Australia.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.