What are the impacts of giving up the driving licence?

Anu Kristiina Siren, Sonja Haustein

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    Driving cessation is a gradual process, where driver’s self-regulation plays an important role. Age-based licence renewal may interfere with this process and trigger premature driving cessation. The present study compares Danish drivers (aged 69 years at the baseline) who either renewed or gave up their driving licence. Data were collected in 2009 (N= 1,792) and in 2012 (N=863). The standardised interviews covered respondents’ background information, health and wellbeing, and transportation patterns. Non-renewers had poorer health already at baseline but did become more dependent on others in their activities after giving up their licence. In travel frequency, neither the differences between renewers and non-renewers nor the changes over time within the groups were pronounced. The groups differed in their use of transport modes already at the baseline: the renewers drove, while nonrenewers travelled as passengers, used public transport, walked or cycled. Not renewing the licence was a strong predictor of unmet mobility needs, especially in relation to leisure activities. The present study indicates that younger seniors’ mobility is not likely to be affected by the strict renewal policies. However, given the positive economic and safety consequences of independent mobility in old age, society should try to prevent unwarranted mobility loss. Having restrictive, ageist policies that moreover fail as societal investments may work against this goal.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAgeing & Society
    Issue number9
    Pages (from-to)1821-1838
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2014


    • Driving cessation
    • Mobility needs
    • Health outcomes


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