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Is planning for driving cessation critical for the well-being and lifestyle of older drivers?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 April 2014

Jacki Liddle
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Trisha Reaston
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Nancy Pachana
School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Geoffrey Mitchell
School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Louise Gustafsson*
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr Louise Gustafsson, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia. Phone: +61 7 3365 2926. Email:



Driving cessation has demonstrated impacts on well-being and lifestyle. Despite the recognized reluctance of older people to plan for driving cessation, this study has identified a new group who has a stated plan to stop driving within 12 months. Although gradual reduction of driving has been documented as part of the usual driving cessation, this study explored the differences between retired drivers and those with a stated plan to retire within 12 months in sociodemographic, well-being and lifestyle outcomes.


This study extracted all baseline data from a clinical trial exploring the effectiveness of a group program for older retiring and retired drivers. Sociodemographic data included age, gender, health status, educational level, and living situation. All participants completed measures related to episodes away from home, well-being, and lifestyle. These were compared using parametric and nonparametric statistical analysis.


Participants (n = 131) included 68 retired drivers (mean age 79.8 years) and 63 retiring drivers (mean age 77.8 years). Retiring drivers engaged in more episodes away from home (p = 0.03), and more social activities (p = 0.02), used less alternative transport (p < 0.001), displayed fewer anxiety (p = 0.05), and depressive (p = 0.01) symptoms, but demonstrated lower transport and lifestyle self-efficacy (p = 0.04).


Both retired and retiring drivers require support for driving cessation and community engagement. Retiring drivers may be in a critical position to engage in driving cessation interventions to improve self-efficacy and begin adapting community mobility.

Research Article
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2014 

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