Why Car Sickness Happens

Car sickness is the term used to describe motion sickness caused when travelling in a car. It’s possible to only have car sickness and not suffer on other forms of transport, or to suffer the same effects on boats and planes too.

A twisty and bumpy road can cause a car sick passenger to feel worse
A twisty and bumpy road can cause a car sick passenger to feel worse

Car sickness occurs when the brain acts on conflicting signals from the inner ear and eyes. Where this conflict occurs, the brain will believe the inner ear as the eyes can be fooled into seeing things that aren’t there.

The brain thinks that this conflict is due to hallucination by poisoning and the area postrema part of the brain responds by inducing vomiting to remove toxins from the body.

Vomiting doesn’t improve the situation, so the cycle continues until either the brain becomes used to the different signals it is receiving, the car stops or you fool the brain that you aren’t moving - we’ve got some tips on this coming up.

Quite why some people always suffer from car sickness and others never suffer from it remains a mystery. If you suffer, or your children suffer making any sort of car journey a nightmare you have our sympathy.

As we sell sick bags, we would love you to buy some Chuckie Bags right now, after all it’s better to have a discrete bag to be sick in. Nevertheless we would much rather you didn’t need them.

We’ve been car sick and our children have been very ill in the back of our car, so we know how horrid it is. So we’ve put together some tips on the next page on preventing car sickness and some natural remedies that might help if a passenger becomes car sick.