The associations between older driver licensure laws with travel and passenger behaviors among adults aged 65 years or older (United states, 2003–2017)

Sijun Shen, Marizen Ramirez, Cara J. Hamann, Nichole Morris, Corinne Peek-Asa, Motao Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: The aging population has been rapidly growing in the United States (U.S.). In line with this trend, older adults’ mobility and transportation safety are an increasing priority. Many states have implemented driver licensure laws specific to older adults to limit driving among the elderly with driving skill decline. Evaluations of these laws have primarily focused on their safety benefits related to older drivers’ fatal crash rate or injury rate. However, very few studies investigated licensure law effects on older adults’ mobility. Objective: The objective of our study is to evaluate the association between older driver licensure laws and older adult daily traveling and passenger exposure. Methods: The 2003–2017 American Time Use Survey (ATUS) data were linked with statewide driver licensure law provisions. Adults aged 55–64 years were used as the reference group to control for the effects of non-licensure-law factors (e.g., economic trend). We used modified Poisson regressions with robust variance to estimate the relationships between licensure law provisions and the likelihoods of older men and women’s daily traveling and passenger behaviors. Results: Laws requiring a vision test at in-person renewal were associated with increased daily traveling likelihood for women aged 75 years or older, primarily as a passenger. Laws requiring a knowledge test were related to a reduced daily overall traveling likelihood for women aged 75 years or older. Conclusions: In general, licensure law provisions are not strongly related to older adults’ mobility, in particular for older male adults. Older female adults’ daily mobility may be more likely to be influenced by the change of licensure laws than older male adults. The existence of gender-based disparities in responding to licensure laws requires future studies to account for the gender difference in estimating the effects of those traffic policies on older adults’ mobility and traffic safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2251
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: The work was supported by the U.S. National Institute on Aging (R01AG050581) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01HD074594 and R21HD085122). The opinions, views, or comments expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official positions of funding agencies. Further, the funding bodies had no input on any aspect of this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • American Time Use Survey
  • Gender difference
  • Mandatory reporting laws for physicians
  • Vision test


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