Automotive

Ford investigates causes of car sickness

Ford investigates causes of ca...
Researchers at Ford recently concluded that two thirds of us may at some point experience car sickness
Researchers at Ford recently concluded that two thirds of us may at some point experience car sickness
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Researchers at Ford recently concluded that two thirds of us may at some point experience car sickness
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Researchers at Ford recently concluded that two thirds of us may at some point experience car sickness

Car sickness can be the bane of many a road trip. In an attempt to find a way to combat the problem, scientists at the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Germany recently teamed up with motion sickness experts in Norway to study the causes of car sickness, and to find possible ways of preventing it.

Some of what the researchers found may not be entirely surprising, like how quick stop-starts, winding roads and where you sit can exacerbate the situation. But the study additionally found some interesting things. For instance, goldfish can also get queasy in a car, but babies don't until they become toddlers and start walking.

The study discovered that two-thirds of the population will at some point experience car sickness, and it's most prevalent if you're a passenger, especially if you're a child or teenager. Sitting in the back seat and watching some type of a video game or movie (what children and teenagers like to do) with your head down for more than 10 minutes makes it worse.

Researchers found that if video screens were mounted higher and passengers could see more of the road ahead on either side, they were less likely to get sick. That may be a consideration as Ford thinks about where to place video screens that are currently embedded in the back of headrests or mounted from the ceiling.

Short of waiting for that to happen, here are some recommendations that the researchers suggested to help passengers forego the effects of car sickness ... If you can't sit in the front seat, move to the middle of the back seat. Drink cola, eat ginger biscuits, support your head with a pillow, and keep fresh air flowing in the vehicle.

Then again there's this advice for drivers from Prof. Jelte Bos, who was involved in the study. "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," he says. "Adopting a smoother driving style goes a long way towards reducing feelings of nausea – and it reduces fuel costs too."

Source: Ford

8 comments
Bob
This story hits home for me. I have always been hypersensitive to motion sickness all my life. I don't know how anyone can watch a movie or read a book while being a passenger. Two minutes as a passenger in a car, plane or boat and I get violently ill. Dramamine helped if I took enough to sleep through the trip. Traveling was complete torture until I found that if I am the one driving it doesn't bother me at all. The connection between what you control and what you feel is very important for many of us.
ljaques
I thought it had been discovered early on that it's a case of disconnect between the inner ear and visual perception of movement. Bob's discovery is likely that one uses slightly different part of (and more of) the brain to drive than to sightsee. Why is Ford researching it?
chase
it's about time they investigated it. I was just telling someone the other day, "I don't no what it is that's causing it, but everyone i ride in a Ford i get sick...!?" And they said, "Me too." Then I says, "You think Ford would investigate why everyone gets sick riding in their cars." And lookie here, there it is. They're finally doing it. Well ain't that somethin'!
noahvail
I'm in my 67th year, and the only times I've ever gotten carsick - as either passenger or driver - were in big Ford sedans and wagons. I finally figured out that the pitch and roll of their soft suspension, even in a straight line (!) was the culprit. I likened it to the the subtle movements of a small boat on calm water - but I don't get seasick. It happened often enough that I still won't get into a Ford.
PeterMerchant
For me, I became car sick every time we were in the car for longer than 20 minutes on the highway. I was young - perhaps 7, 8 when my eyes started changing, but back then eye exams weren't an annual thing. At highway speeds, it was simply the fact that things were out of focus at a distance - I needed glasses and didn't know it! As soon as I got glasses I wasn't sick anymore. This had been going on for several years before we figured it out.
John Birk
In the early 70's when I started the first dive operation in Antigua and Barbuda there were those who got sea sickness boating to the dive site and then I discovered the cure. A young lady diver told me that she was a great diver,however she suffered from sea sickness, true to her word she chucked up going out and back. On the third day of diving I had quickly secure some equipment and since she was the closest person I told her, "quick, grab the wheel and keep steering towards Sandy Island". When I returned a few minutes later she said, "this works, I am no longer sea sick",for the rest of the week she steered the boat out and back and never got sick. Same thing in cars people steering a car rarely if ever get car sick, because they are forced to look at the road, cars, signs, etc. Unfortunately there is only one person who can steer a car or boat at one time, so it's a cure for one. Scientia Non Domus, (Knowledge has No Home) antiguajohn
MichaelShortland
The only time i got car sick as a child was when i read in the car, up until that time and since i have never gotten car sick.
Renato G.F. Naso
If I remember well, the INFRAWAVES coming from the motor in front, are the culprit! Solution: move the motor to the back, >>behind<< the rear axle!! Doing so not only it would get rid of car sickness (did you ever asked yourself why all modern busses have the motor in the back?) but would make the car safely OVERSTEERING, saving your life even in the case of a crash with another "car" (an UNDERSTEERING deadly trap, frontal-collision prone!) coming in your lane on the freeway!!