Importance of Driving and Potential Impact of Driving Cessation for Rural and Urban Older Adults

David Strogatz, Thelma J. Mielenz, Andrew K. Johnson, Ida R. Baker, Melinda Robinson, Sean P. Mebust, Howard F. Andrews, Marian E. Betz, David W. Eby, Renee M Johnson, Vanya C Jones, Cheng Shiun Leu, Lisa J. Molnar, George Rebok, Guohua Li

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Abstract

Purpose: Analyses compared older drivers from urban, suburban, and rural areas on perceived importance of continuing to drive and potential impact that driving cessation would have on what they want and need to do. Methods: The AAA LongROAD Study is a prospective study of driving behaviors, patterns, and outcomes of older adults. A cohort of 2,990 women and men 65-79 years of age was recruited during 2015-2017 from health systems or primary care practices near 5 study sites in different parts of the United States. Participants were classified as living in urban, surburban, or rural areas and were asked to rate the importance of driving and potential impact of driving cessation. Logistic regression models adjusted for sociodemographic and driving-related characteristics. Findings: The percentages of older drivers rating driving as “completely important” were 76.9%, 79.0%, and 83.8% for urban, suburban, and rural drivers, respectively (P =.009). The rural drivers were also most likely to indicate driving cessation would have a high impact on what they want or need to do (P <.001). After adjustment for sociodemographic and driving-related characteristics, there was a 2-fold difference for rural versus urban older drivers in odds that driving cessation would have a high impact on what they need to do (OR = 2.03; 95% CI: 1.60-2.58). Conclusions: Older drivers from rural areas were more likely to rate driving as highly important and the prospect of driving cessation as very impactful. Strategies to enhance both the ability to drive safely and the accessibility of alternative sources of transportation may be especially important for older rural adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Rural Health
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Keywords

  • aging
  • driving cessation
  • older drivers
  • rural
  • urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Strogatz, D., Mielenz, T. J., Johnson, A. K., Baker, I. R., Robinson, M., Mebust, S. P., Andrews, H. F., Betz, M. E., Eby, D. W., Johnson, R. M., Jones, V. C., Leu, C. S., Molnar, L. J., Rebok, G., & Li, G. (2019). Importance of Driving and Potential Impact of Driving Cessation for Rural and Urban Older Adults. Journal of Rural Health. https://doi.org/10.1111/jrh.12369