Exploring how older people contemplate and experience giving-up driving

Project summary

Project details

Full project title: Exploring how older people contemplate and experience giving-up driving

Sponsors: University of the West of England and Early Career Researcher Starter Grant

Project Director for CTS: Dr Charles Musselwhite

Start date: October 2006

Finish date: September 2009

Research briefing sheet: Download the briefing sheet document (PDF)

Project summary

Charles Musselwhite was awarded an internal competitive bid to examine how older people conceptualise and experience the process of giving-up driving. The research builds on previous research carried out examining the travel and driving needs of older people under the Strategic Promotion of Ageing Research Capacity (SPARC) initiative and current work investigating the travel of older people in rural areas for the New Dynamics of Ageing Research project, Grey and pleasant land.

The SPARC project identified motivation for travel amongst older people can be said to inhabit three main categories: practical (primary) needs, psychosocial (secondary) needs and aesthetic (tertiary) needs. Those who had given-up driving tend to find that, on the whole, their practical needs are met, but other needs are not. However, in the study two different cohorts were used, one of drivers and one of ex-drivers.

This study plans to investigate how travel needs change as older drivers give-up driving, following one cohort. Six waves of qualitative data collection (including interviews, focus groups and diary keeping) with 25 individuals over a six month period as they give up driving will take place. It is hoped such in-depth exploratory work will identify the issues that older people face as they give-up driving and use other forms of travel (including public transport, accessing lifts, active travel and virtual and temporal travel). In identifying such issues, a set of recommendations will be developed with the help of external stakeholders.

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