Impact of Driving Cessation on Trajectories of Life-Space Scores Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults

J Appl Gerontol. 2017 Dec;36(12):1433-1452. doi: 10.1177/0733464816630637. Epub 2016 Feb 12.


The purpose of this study was to examine the trajectories of life-space before and after the transition to driving cessation among a diverse sample of community-dwelling older adults. Life-space scores and self-reported driving cessation were assessed at annual visits from baseline through Year 6 among participants in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Study of Aging. Approximately 58% of older adults reported having stopped driving during the 6 years of follow-up. After adjusting for potential confounders, results from a random intercept model indicate that mean life-space scores decreased about 1 to 2 points every year ( p = .0011) and approximately 28 points at the time of driving cessation ( p < .0001). The rate of life-space decline post driving cessation was not significantly different from the rate of decline prior to driving cessation. Driving cessation was associated with a precipitous decline in life-space score; however, the driving cessation event did not accelerate the rate of life-space decline.

Keywords: driving cessation; elderly; life-space score; prospective.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Aging / psychology
  • Alabama
  • Automobile Driving / psychology*
  • Cognition
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobility Limitation*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Self Report