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Self-regulatory driving practices among older adults: Health, age and sex effects

Accident Analysis & Prevention
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2008.04.005
  • Driving Self-Regulation
  • Older Drivers
  • Driving Reduction


Abstract The purpose of this study was to better understand how older adults self-regulate driving, and to identify differences by age, sex, and health-related functioning. Michigan drivers over age 64 were surveyed by telephone ( n = 961, age [ μ = 74.2, σ = 5.8], 56% female) about their driving-related behaviors, physical functioning, and health. Respondents were presented with scenarios involving driving to an important appointment under adverse conditions (rainy stormy weather, on alternate route in heavy freeway traffic, 200-mile trip on unfamiliar roads). Generalized logit models examined outcomes for each scenario: driving as usual, driving with modifications, and not driving. Results indicate that the effect of sex on self-regulation was significant and greater than that of age and physical functioning. Women were more likely to self-regulate by not driving. Odds ratios and 95% confidence limits for each scenario for women vs. men are 6.8 (3.8–2.0), 6.5 (3.6–12.0), and 17.7 (11.0–28.6). The effect of sex on self-regulation by modifying driving was smaller and significant only in scenarios 2 and 3. Women were more likely then men to modify driving for scenario 2 (odds ratio, 3.0 (2.0–4.5)) and scenario 3 (odds ratio 4.4 (3.1–0.1)). Overall, the study finds the relative effect of sex on self-regulation greater than that of age and physical functioning for conditions examined.

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