"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." - Darrell Royal
Question #92195 posted on 04/29/2019 9:06 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I always get carsick when I sit in the back seat of a car, but never when I sit in the front. Does this happen to any of you? Any idea why? I don’t think it’s psychosomatic - I got carsick all the time as a kid when the front seat was off limits, and now that I hardly ever ride in the back I usually forget how bad it is until it actually happens.

-me

A:

Dear you,

YES, I experience this as well! Motion sickness occurs when your eyes and inner ear are receiving conflicting signals. Your eyes are seeing all the moving scenery outside, but you're also seeing inside of something stationary. Meanwhile, your inner ears, which help you sense balance and motion, are telling you that you are definitely moving (with all the jolts, swaying, and hum of the tires, etc.) If you are sitting in the back, you're seeing more of the stationary vehicle, which doesn't make sense when you feel like you're moving... and that makes you feel sick. Sitting in the front seat means you get to see out the front window AND the side window, so in general you are not getting as much conflict between 'moving' signals and 'not moving' signals, so you don't get as car sick. If I'm in the car and I end up in the back, I try to watch the lines of fence or on the road. Just watching something moving helps me feel better. Of course, then there are some people who get motion sick regardless of visual input... which definitely sucks, and Dramamine/Gravol may be their best option. 

So there ya go. Totally not psychosomatic, but it is preventable if you know how to help yourself handle it. 

See more information here

Cheers, 

Guesthouse 

A:

Dear you,

So initially I was like "yes that's me I was always carsick in the back seat!" but then I started thinking about it and realized I was only carsick when I was reading in the back seat - which I did a lot. I tried some reading in the front seat this week and while I did get carsick, I didn't feel as carsick and it went away pretty quickly. So front seat for the win!

-guppy of doom

A:

Dear You,

You are absolutely not alone in this! I am much more likely to get carsick when sitting in the back seat than in the front. Thankfully, my friends understand and I usually get to sit shotgun (both because of this and because I'm usually the car DJ). However, in situations where it would be rude to ask to sit in the front, I usually aim for the middle of the backseat. This gives me a better view out the windshield and the added benefit of being able to see both people in the front seats. It's to the point where even when I'm the only person in the back, I'll still sit in the middle. Just picture it: a large young adult woman all buckled up on the weird hump seat. :D

-Quixotic Kid

A:

Dear Aziraphale,

I just get motion sick in general (seriously guys, I've thrown up on a plane, bus, car, boat--the only exception is the frontrunner), and I too can affirm the degree of sickness is worse in the back of a car versus the front. I've always attributed it to motion being more pronounced in the back of the car, but that's pure speculation on my part.

~Anathema