Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Elizabeth Dugan

Second Advisor

Jan E. Mutchler

Third Advisor

Orna Intrator


Driving in late-life is common and increasing with the aging of the baby boomer cohort. While older drivers tend to be safe, when involved in a crash they are at an increased risk of crash-related injury and death compared to younger drivers. Driving status is regulated at the state level, and licensing authorities use a variety of policies to ensure drivers are medically fit to drive. Such policies include accelerated license renewal, in-person renewal, road testing, vision testing, mandatory reporting, and restricted licensure. However, limited research examines the relationship between these policies and late-life driving. This research uses a national sample of older adults in the United States (n=16,493), nuanced measures of driving behavior, and the licensing policies of all states to understand the role of state policy on late-life driving behavior (e.g., self-identified driver, number of miles driven annually, time of day of trip, and purpose of trip). Logistic and multinomial logistic regression were used to answer four research questions. Results showed that: older driver policies are individually predictive of late-life driving behavior, having more policies used in conjunction is associated with less driving, policies that are age-based are not more predictive of driving outcomes than those that are non-age-based, and states tend to use three different groupings of policies together. Further, these three groupings differ in their associations with the driving outcome variables, such that two are associated with reductions in late-life driving while one is not. Policymakers should consider findings such as these before putting regulations into place, and future research should apply these datasets to understanding crash-related outcomes.


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