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Ask a Driving Instructor

Whether you are learner driver or an experienced motorist, you can email any driving-related question to info@wycombedrivingschool.co.uk and you will receive a personal response from Wycombe Driving School boss Audrey Wixon, pictured. The best questions and answers will be published on this website anonymously.

Audrey is a DSA ADI; DIAmond, IAM and RoSPA Gold Advanced Driver; Fleet Trainer; Observer for Institute of Advanced Motorists; & National Standard cycling instructor

Audrey Wixon - manager of Wycombe Driving School
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Why do I suffer from car sickness?

Q: I suffer terribly from car sickness. I’ve tried travel sickness pills and other remedies but they haven’t really helped me. My husband says I get sick because I don’t look out of the windscreen enough but I think the problem is that my husband drives too jerkily! Can you clarify what causes car sickness?
car sick passenger A: Car sickness develops when the brain becomes confused because it can sense motion that your eyes can’t see. If you are focusing on something inside the car, such as a book or the other occupants, your eyes tell you that everything is still, however the balance mechanism in your inner ear can sense movement. The brain concludes that you must be hallucinating and responds by trying to make you vomit in order to eject whatever is causing the hallucination.

Sufferers may feel sweaty, drowsy and dizzy as well as nauseous. Fresh air can help alleviate the symptoms until you are able to stop to recover. Your husband is right when he says that it would help to look out of the windscreen because if you watch the horizon, your brain can make more sense of what is going on. And you are also right when you say that jerky driving is a problem because sudden movements will make you feel worse.

Tell your husband to look a long way ahead when he is driving so he can anticipate when he will need to slow down and speed up and have time to do so gradually. Perhaps you could ask him to imagine he has a bowl of hot water balanced on his lap, as this might help focus his mind on how much he is jerking the car!
Audrey Wixon
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Wycombe Driving School - for driving lessons in High Wycombe and surrounding areas - including Amersham, Beaconsfield, Marlow, Hazlemere, Stokenchurch and Princes Risborough. We offer successful, structured driving lessons, providing free theory test software and lesson handouts. Male and female driving instructors are available, providing both manual and automatic driving lessons.