The Impact of Health Problems on Driving Status Among Older Adults


Objective: This study assessed the impact of health problems on driving status (current driver vs. ex-driver) among older adults to identify which of those health problems have the greatest individual and population impact on driving cessation.

Methods: Data were from baseline and a 5 year follow-up wave of a longitudinal survey of adults aged 55 years and older (N¼1279). The impact of several health problems on driving status was assessed using a relative risk ratio and a population attributable risk percent. Analyses controlled for age, gender, and the presence of additional baseline health problems.

Results: Many health conditions were not associated with driving cessation. Functional limitations, cognitive function, and measures of vision were significant predictors of driving cessation. Self-care functional limitations were associated with the highest risk for driving cessation, while visual function was associated with the highest attributable risks.

Discussion: In order to effectively address healthy aging and mobility transitions, it is important to consider the implications of targeting individuals or populations who are most at risk for driving cessation. The risk ratio is relevant for evaluating individuals; the attributable risk is relevant for developing interventions in populations.

Publication date: 
April 30, 2014
Publication type: 
Journal Article