Deconstructing a gender difference: driving cessation and personal driving history of older women

J Safety Res. 2003;34(4):383-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2003.09.008.


Problem: The purpose of this study is to understand the reasons behind older women's driving cessation by comparing the driving histories of Finnish women who either gave up or renewed their drivers license at the age of 70.

Method: A mail survey was sent to all Finnish women born in 1927 who gave up their license in 1997 (N=1,476) and to a corresponding random sample of women who renewed their license (N=1,494). The total response rate was 42.1%.

Results: The length and level of activity of personal driving history were strongly associated with driving cessation and continuation. Ex-drivers tended to have an inactive driving career behind them, whereas drivers had a more active personal driving history. In addition, those women with an active, "male-like" driving history who had decided to stop driving gave reasons for driving cessation that were similar to what is known about older men's reasons to give up driving. The results suggest that the decision to stop driving is related to driving habits rather than gender.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged / psychology
  • Automobile Driving / psychology*
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Licensure
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time
  • Women / psychology*