Research by the Foundation suggests that more than three-quarters of travellers have been affected by car sickness at some stage and cites medical opinion estimates that 'motion sickness' can affect up to 80% of the population at some time.
Bizarre methods used by travellers to help combat the problem, says the RAC Foundation study that quizzed 200 motorists, include avoiding journeys on motorways so they can stop every 10 minutes, wearing sunglasses even in the rain and snow, sucking sticks of celery, and breathing through a hanky soaked in lavender water.
'For many people the comfort and convenience of car travel is diminished by the dreadful nausea that they can experience. While most only suffer on occasion, some feel sick every time they embark on a journey,' said Sue Nicholson, RAC Foundation head of campaigns.
Motion sickness happens when two 'motion messages' to the brain are in conflict. One comes from the balance centre of the inner ear, while another comes from the eyes.
'The brain becomes confused by the discrepancy between sight and sensation when it interprets movement even through the body isn't actually moving. People suffering from motion sickness often then have some resulting nausea or vomiting,' the Foundation said.
How to avoid car sickness
1. Avoid heavy meals and do not consume fatty or spicy foods and alcohol.
2. Never travel on an empty stomach or consume alcohol.
3. Avoid direct exposure to the sun.
4. Get plenty of fresh air by opening a window.
5. If you have a choice, a straight road is less likely to make you fell queasy than a winding one.
6. Try not to feel anxious about it as this increases the likelihood that you will fell queasy.
Source: RAC Foundation