Driving, Social Distancing, Protective, and Coping Behaviors of Older Adults Before and During COVID-19

Catherine M. Roe, Sayeh Bayet, Jamie Hicks, Ann M. Johnson, Samantha Murphy, Jason M. Doherty, Ganesh M. Babulal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A thorough understanding of individual characteristics of older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic is critical for managing the ongoing pandemic course and planning for the future pandemics. Here, we explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on driving, social distancing, protective, and coping behaviors of older adults. This study reports data on participants aged above 65 whose driving behaviors are being monitored using Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. Participants completed a COVID-19 survey in May 2020. We found that older adults decreased their number of days driving, number of trips per day, as well as average driving speed, and had fewer speeding incidents following COVID-19 onset. We also show that female and African American older adults engaged in more positive coping and cleaning behaviors, and had greater decreases in the number of days driving during the pandemic. The findings highlight the importance of considering older adults’ individual characteristics for an equitable response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • automobile driving
  • COVID-19
  • motor vehicles
  • pandemic

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