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car sickness

You're driving down the highway when you start to feel nauseous. You know that feeling all too well, it's car sickness! The symptoms can range in severity but they are always unpleasant. However, there are some facts about getting car sick that you may not be aware of. Read on to find out five things you didn't know about getting car sick and how they might affect your next drive!

Getting car sick is an all-around awful experience, and so is motion sickness in general. Sometimes even referred to as “seasickness,” this phenomenon occurs when your inner ear is disturbed from repeated motions.

While more common in children and pregnant women, car sickness can happen to anyone, even to people who never experienced it well into adulthood.

What are the Common Symptoms of Motion Sickness?

The common symptoms of motion sickness include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating

If you’re driving the car while you’re experiencing motion sickness, pull over and try to find your center of gravity. You won’t be able to keep your full attention on the road if you feel like you’re about to throw up. Passengers may not need to ask the driver to stop the vehicle. Instead, they could try to lessen the severity of their motion sickness by using the tips in our article.

Driving on the Opposite Side of the Road Can Cause Motion Sickness

Did you know that Americans who switch to driving on the left side of the road (like in Australia) are more likely to develop motion sickness? It follows the same logic as sitting in the opposite direction while traveling by train: your body isn’t used to that slight change of motion.

However, Americans who are looking to move to Australia have more to worry about than car sickness.

For example, Americans will need to consider how to sign up for car insurance. In America, vehicle insurance varies based on the state but requires minimum coverage for both property and bodily injury from an independent agent or broker.

In Australia, every state provides its car owners with Compulsory Third-Party insurance when they’re registered.

Keeping both insurance policies straight will stop you from feeling even more nauseous. 

Women Tend To Get Motion Sickness Worse Than Men

This is because women have a higher percentage of the hormone prolactin in their bodies. Prolactin affects fluid balance, blood pressure and motion sickness susceptibility.

You Can Fight Motion Sickness With Ginger And Peppermint

Anti-motion sickness pills and other drugs aren't the only answer. Drinking ginger tea or peppermint water can soothe your stomach while you are on the road by increasing saliva production which will help with nausea symptoms. You can also chew some fresh ginger root to get the same effect!


You Can Get Car Sick More Easily As A Passenger

Even though you aren't behind the wheel, if someone else is driving and taking sharp turns or hitting bumps it can still affect your inner ears. This means that even as a passenger in the car you could be affected by motion sickness symptoms! While this might not be shocking to some, the fact that you aren't in control means that your brain is left guessing and anticipating what the next turn or bump in the road might mean. If you are someone who gets car sick easily, taking a turn at the wheel might be a good solution even if just for a while.


Sitting In The Back Seat Can Lessen Motion Sickness Symptoms

The back seat has more room than the front seats which means that less movement from bumps or sharp turns can affect it as much as those closer to the wheel. This also leaves plenty of space between you and whomever might be driving so if nausea sets in at least nobody is right next to you and sharing your body heat! If possible, sitting in the back seat can lessen motion sickness symptoms.

8 Tips for Preventing Motion Sickness

If you know you’ll experience motion sickness while on your trip, you can likely prevent it. If you’re new to managing or preventing yourself from feeling sick in the car, read the following:

  1. Take Meclizine or Imodium 2 hours before your trip. One is specifically for motion sickness, and the other is for an upset stomach, which occurs with car sickness.
  2. If you know which seat makes you feel sick, don’t choose it. 
  3. Keep the window open, if possible, so that you can take deep, oxygen-filled breaths.
  4. Lie down before the car ride and think happy thoughts about the journey.
  5. Don’t eat a heavy meal directly before you get on the road.
  6. During the entire trip, avoid acidic, spicy, or greasy foods.
  7. Avoid alcohol and drink a lot of water. If you drink more water than usual, you also have a great excuse to stop suddenly if you don’t know how to verbalize that you’re sick.
  8. Talk to your doctor about therapies or alternative methods, like wearing an elastic band.

Depending on the severity of your car sickness, you may need to avoid common triggers (like long road trips) or try public transportation while you discuss remedies with your doctor. 

8 Tips for Lessening Motion Sickness Symptoms

Whether you like it or not, it’s here, and you’ll need to do your best to lessen its effects to enjoy your road trip or drive to work. The moment you feel motion sick, try the following:

  1. Avoid strong food odors that may make your nausea worse.
  2. Move to a seat where you won’t feel so ill, like the front.
  3. Never sit backwards while traveling; you’ll make your symptoms worse.
  4. Don’t read or do anything that requires rapid-eye-movement.
  5. Fix your gaze on the horizon or on a fixed point.
  6. Open a vent, window or get out of the car to get some fresh air.
  7. Isolate yourself from others who are speaking about motion sickness
  8. Stop somewhere and purchase Meclizine for motion sickness

Above all else, try not to let your car sickness ruin your trip. Although it will be challenging to focus on the positives, know that car sickness is temporary, and you’ll feel better soon.