Car sickness. This is something that affects a good two thirds of us at some point in our traveling lives. If you’re lucky, you’ve probably never had to face this feeling of throwing up after being in a moving vehicle. This condition mostly affects children and teenagers and is made worse by sitting at the back, head down watching movies or playing video games. Movement of the car itself also makes it worse, especially in winding roads and start stop traffic. Car sickness is a parent’s worst nightmare and can turn an eagerly awaited family trip into a not so pleasant one. It keeps mum and dad always nervously looking over their shoulders and fearing the worst.
In new research carried out by Ford, with the help of motion sickness experts, passengers who stared at screens for the duration of a short journey fell ill after an average of just 10 minutes. And those were all grown-ups.
Yawning and perspiring are warning signs for a condition that is caused by mismatches between signals the brain receives from the eyes and from the organs of balance, in the ear. Babies don’t get car sick. This only comes when we start walking.
“For many drivers who think their child has a problem with car sickness it might simply be that their child has a problem with their driving,” added Prof. Bos, who also holds a chair in motion perception at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, and has worked on a device that shows when behaviour behind the wheel could affect sickness-prone passengers. “Adopting a smoother driving style goes a long way towards reducing feelings of nausea – and it reduces fuel costs too.”
What can you do to ease car sickness?
- Move to the middle in the back seats, or preferably the front, to see the road ahead
- Drive smoothly and where possible avoid sudden braking, harsh acceleration, potholes
- Distract sufferers – even a family sing along could help
- Drink cola, eat ginger biscuits, but avoid coffee
- Use a pillow or head support to keep your head as still as possible
Operate air-con to keep fresh air circulating