Cessation of Driving in Later Life May Not Result in Dependence

Buys, Laurie R. & Carpenter, Lorelei (2002) Cessation of Driving in Later Life May Not Result in Dependence. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 21(3), pp. 152-155.

PDF (70kB)


For most young adults, obtaining a drivers licence represents an important step towards achieving independence. The correlation between driving and independence appears to strengthen as we grow older, so that we do all we can to retain our licence. The purpose of this research is to investigate whether the cessation of driving in later life leads to a reduction of perceived independence of older adults. Design and methods: The respondents are 26 individuals over the age of 70 years living in the Brisbane, Australia metropolitan area. Half of these are current drivers with the remainder having surrendered their licence within the past two years. Semi-structured, qualitative, telephone interviews were used to gather data. Results: the data reveal that older drivers insist that the cessation of driving would result in the loss of their independence and reduce their ability to conduct activities in the community. However, the stories of ex-drivers directly challenge these strongly held assumptions. The ex-drivers report that relinquishing their drivers licence was a struggle, but this struggle concluded in them re-defining their use of transport in order to maintain their desired life style. Implications: We argue that this process of struggle represents another of life’s rites of passage which may not lead to a loss of independence.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
5 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

568 since deposited on 28 Nov 2006
43 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 491
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: elderly drivers, driving, Rite of passage, Independence
ISSN: 1741-6612
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIAL WORK (160700) > Counselling Welfare and Community Services (160702)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Blackwell Publishing
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com.
Deposited On: 28 Nov 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2012 09:44

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page