Title

Why older Americans stop driving: Effects of state licensing policies on reduction and cessation of driving

Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Public Administration

Advisor(s)

Vernon Greene

Keywords

Older adults, Driving, Licensing policies

Subject Categories

Public Administration | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

This dissertation deals with the emerging public policy issue of mobility and transportation for the elderly. The research aims to answer the question of whether state licensing and renewal policies have any effect on the driving patterns--specifically the reduction or cessation of driving--of older Americans. Nationally representative data from three waves (1993, 1995 and 1998) of the Asset and Health Dynamics of the Oldest Old (AHEAD) longitudinal study are used in a multinomial logistic analysis. The results of this study demonstrate that the driving behavior of older people is influenced not only by their health and socioeconomic characteristics, but also by state relicensing policies. The analysis performed indicates that three policy factors--"mental testing," "renewal in person at 70+" and "Surface provides description only. Full text is available to ProQuest subscribers. Ask your Librarian for assistance. licensing"--have the most significant effect on decision of an older driver to reduce or cease driving. The policy effect exists for the states with more developed or less developed relicensing regulations. States with more developed relicensing policy positively influence older drivers's decision to reduce driving. In states with less developed relicensing policy and no provisions for Surface provides description only. Full text is available to ProQuest subscribers. Ask your Librarian for assistance. driving, older drivers tend to cease driving altogether. The reported findings also demonstrate that less developed policy results in an abrupt driving cessation (from long trips to no driving) without a transitional stage of "Surface provides description only. Full text is available to ProQuest subscribers. Ask your Librarian for assistance." driving (short trips). Other empirical findings of the study demonstrate that respondents who have difficulty walking several blocks are more likely to stop driving than those who do not have such difficulty, and that the relative availability of public transportation does not appear to influence the driving patterns of elderly Americans.

Access

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