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Don't let motion sickness ruin your next road trip.

Erika Owen
April 07, 2017

There's nothing that will put a damper on your summer road trip more than carsickness.

It happens to more people than you'd think: According to pharmaceutical company Montavit, nearly everyone has been motion sick at some point in their lives, and between 5 and 10 percent of people are particularly susceptible to motion sickness.

You can read more about what causes motion sickness on our story covering how to avoid nauseous flights, but here's a refresher: When your inner ear senses motion and your eyes don't (or vice-versa), your body gets confused, and that results in some uncomfortable side effects. There are a lucky few who aren't very affected by this bodily discrepancy, but it's a common ailment.

When it comes to avoiding carsickness, there are a few things you can do. Ford Motor Company shared a study investigating how people deal with carsickness and just how long it takes to feel sick (on average, 10 minutes).

(Fun fact: Babies are immune to car sickness, since their inner ear is not fully developed.)

Ford polled 100 people on their preferred ways to treat carsickness and then they asked medical professionals for their tips on combating nausea. Here's what they had to say.

How to avoid car sickness:

  • 19 percent focus on something stationary
  • 11 percent use a pillow
  • 11 percent suck on lemons and limes
  • 9 percent have a family sing-along
  • 7 percent move to the middle seat
  • 6 percent eat potato chips and drink something fizzy
  • 5 percent pretend to be driving and anticipate the twists and turns as they watch the road
  • 4 percent blow their tongue out and pull their ears
  • 1 percent sit on newspaper (we might be getting trolled on that one)

Tips from medical professionals:

  • Move to the middle in the back seats, or preferably the front so you can see the road ahead
  • Drive smoothly and avoid sudden braking and harsh acceleration
  • Distract those suffering from carsickness
  • Drink cola, eat ginger biscuits, and avoid coffee
  • Use a pillow or head support to keep your head as still as possible
  • Use air conditioning to keep the air circulating

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