30 September 2008
This study sought to identify
*The patterns of adaptation to decline in driving-related capabilities (DRC), including self-imposed limitations, and voluntary or compulsory cessation of driving
*The factors that correlate with the driving-related patterns of adaptation (DPA)
*The associations between the various DPA's and perceived well-being, in terms of self-esteem and life-satisfaction.
A national random stratified sample of 860 licensed drivers, aged 70+, was drawn from the lists of the Israeli Ministry of Transportation. The participants were interviewed at their homes, based on a structured questionnaire.
The report finds that the cessation of driving is mostly a voluntary and gradual process. Significant differences in socio-demographic, psychosocial, and driving-related factors were found among the various DPA's. Still driving, relating importance to the license and love of driving were the best predictors of well-being when controlling for all the study variables. Women significantly differed from men, in having less driving experience, less confidence in DRC, starting to drive later and stopping to drive earlier and voluntarily. Furthermore, driving plays an important role in elders’ well-being.
The authors recommend establishing programs for better diagnosing elders’ DRC, based on which, improvements to driving skills and confidence will be introduced, or, alternatively, recommendations for driving with limitations or cessation will be delivered. In addition, we recommend the implementation of driving education in high schools, for developing early the appropriate attitudes and behaviors, hence, prolonging driving experience and extending the years of safe driving at old age.