|Cohort analysis of driving cessation and limitation among older adults
|Year of Publication
|Schouten, A, Wachs, M, Blumenberg, E, King, HR
|Cohort Effect, driving cessation, driving reduction, gender
Automobiles are central to participation in economic, social, and cultural activities in the United States. The ability to drive as one ages is fundamental to the quality of life among older adults. Driving rates decline significantly with age. Researchers using cross-sectional data have studied the reasons former drivers have stopped driving, but few have followed individuals over time to examine changes in relationships among driving cessation, socio-demographics, and health conditions. We used longitudinal data from a national sample of 20,000 observations from the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to examine relationships among demographic variables, health conditions, and driving reduction and driving cessation. Longitudinal data allow analysis of generational differences in behavior, a major advantage over cross-sectional data which only allow comparisons of different people at one point in time. We found, like many other studies, that personal decisions to limit and eventually stop driving vary with sex, age, and health conditions. In addition, unlike most previous studies, we also found that those relationships differ by birth cohort with younger cohorts less likely to stop and limit their driving than their older counterparts. The findings indicate an evolution in the association between driving cessation and its causes.