How Accumulated Wealth Affects Driving Reduction and Cessation. By: Vivoda, Jonathon M; Walker, Ryan Michael; Cao, Jiawei; Koumoutzis, Athena. Gerontologist. Oct2020, Vol. 60 Issue 7, p1273-1281. 9p.

Background and Objectives Older adults can expect to live between 6 and 10 years after they give up driving, but driving reduction and cessation (DRC) are not equally experienced by all groups. Individual characteristics such as poor health, impaired vision, older age, and female gender are known to affect DRC. Using cumulative disadvantage theory as a guide, this study assessed the role played by wealth in DRC among older adults.

Research Design and Methods Data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study were analyzed using multinomial logistic regression techniques. This allowed for the effect of each predictor on the odds of engagement in a given driving status (full driving, driving reduction [DR], and driving cessation [DC]) to be compared to each of the others.

Results The final sample included 6,387 participants. After controlling for the effect of covariates, less wealth was associated with higher odds of DR compared to full driving, DC compared to full driving, and DC compared to DR. Confirming previous research, several other factors were also significantly related to driving status including age, health, vision, gender, race, education, relationship status, household size, and work status.

Discussion and Implications The influence of wealth on driving status among older adults represents another disadvantage unequally distributed to some in older adulthood. Those with less wealth will have fewer resources to meet their mobility needs using alternatives and may already be facing additional financial constraints due to worse health and other challenges associated with lower socioeconomic status.