How to avoid car sickness | AA Cars

Car sickness. It’s something that you really don’t want to happen. It means that one of your travelling party is likely to throw up – and no one wants that.

It can affect young and old, toddlers to adults, and it might not even be caused by anything in particular. But the good news is there are some techniques to prevent it or stop it in its tracks. Here are our tips on how to avoid car sickness.

What’s car sickness?

It’s a form of motion sickness, caused by your body’s senses receiving mixed messages. Your eyes are seeing one thing, such as a book or a screen, but your inner ear is sensing lots of movement from the car on the road. Signals from your skin, muscles and joints also have an effect.

This can lead to cold sweats, an upset stomach, fatigue and, potentially, vomiting. Other effects include dizziness, headaches, shortness of breath, pale skin and a feeling of discomfort. 

What can you do to stop it?

There are lots of ways to prevent car sickness or help ease the symptoms if it does strike.

  • Sit in the front – Taking the front passenger seat can be very helpful, as you get the best view out of the car. It means you can focus on the horizon ahead. If that’s not possible, sit where you can see a flat line ahead to focus on that. However, we would advise that children ride in the rear.
  • Try to sleep – By closing your eyes, it stops one of the senses from giving your brain any messages. That reduces input from the outside and means your body can calm down.
  • Open a window – Getting fresh air inside the car can reduce the effects. Try to do it where there aren’t any strong smells, as that can make things worse. Taking deep breaths can also help – in through the nose and out through the mouth.
  • Distractions – Talking, listening to music or singing can stop you thinking about the sickness. 
  • Take breaks – This is especially important on longer journeys. Walking, drinking water and getting some fresh air every 2 hours can help limit the effects.
  • Take medication – There are some medical options that can limit the symptoms. They can help reduce your sickness if taken at the recommended times. Patches are also available. 
  • Eat ginger – Chewing ginger in sweets and biscuits or in a tablet can cut out potential nausea. 

What shouldn’t you do?

If you’re one of those unlucky people prone to falling ill in the car…

  • Don’t watch videos – Watching films or shows on the go can confuse your brain further. 
  • Don’t look at other moving objects – Same as watching videos, this can trick your brain into seeing something the rest of the body isn’t feeling. Watching passing cars can add to the effect of car sickness.
  • Don’t eat large meals before or during journeys – The digestion process uses blood needed to prevent nausea. If you must eat something, stick to light meals. 
  • Don’t read –Reading books, magazines, newspapers or comics can have the same effect on your body as watching videos. So, even if you’ve got that best-seller that you’re simply desperate to lose yourself in, save it for when you’re not in the car and can really enjoy it!

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