The bank holiday weekend is a time for road trips. Whether it’s camping in the wilderness, a bed and breakfast by the beach or a couple of nights with family, whenever a national holiday comes around, millions of motorists hit Britain’s roads.
In fact, data from the RAC predicts that 14.5 million cars could clog up our road network this Easter weekend.
And where there are long journeys, there’s often car sickness, especially when children are involved.
Ford has been conducting research into what results in car passengers feeling ill. Experts have found that it’s caused by mismatches between signals the brain gets from your eyes and those it gets from the balance system in your inner ear.
Researchers found that looking down at a screen during a car journey can induce car sickness within 10 minutes. This is because your eyes can’t read the road ahead for potential movements, which puts your balance systems out of sync.
Intriguingly, pets aren’t immune from the dreaded car sickness either, so keep an eye on any animals you might have in the car! That even extends to goldfish, which have been observed suffering from motion sickness by sailors…
Babies don't but apparently goldfish can? …. Do you get car sick?
🤔🤢 ^RW https://t.co/W4oLq7Soy6
— Ford in Europe (@FordEu) April 5, 2017
Professor Jelte Bos of the Perceptual and Cognitive Systems group at TNO, an applied scientific research organisation in the Netherlands, said: “Car sickness is a complex problem.
“It is a natural reaction to an unnatural stimulus that cannot be cured as such. But we can look to alleviate the symptoms.”
For passengers who simply must watch a screen while in the car, it’s recommended that it is mounted as high as possible to give a view of the road ahead either side. In tests, volunteers felt less sick when trying this method.
However, some parents might have to look a little closer to home for a solution.
“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 the professor.
Smoother driving leads to less nausea in passengers, so try to avoid harsh acceleration or braking and look a long way down the road to anticipate any movements well in advance.
Other suggestions for dealing with car sickness include drinking cola, eating ginger biscuits or moving to the middle seat to improve the view of the road.