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How to Avoid Carsickness

Here are tips for keeping carsickness at bay.

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Riding in a car can throw us off-kilter.

There's a good reason why so many people feel queasy on the road, says Tom Stoffregen, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Minnesota. "The car moves in ways we can't predict," he says. We all try to stay in control of our bodies, but riding in a car can throw us off-kilter.

Stoffregen says passengers can keep their bearings—and calm their stomachs—by steadying their heads on headrests and focusing on the horizon. "Sailors have used that trick for hundreds of years," he says.

Consult your doctor, too. Studies have found that prescription scopolamine patches, attached behind the ear six hours before travel, can ease nausea and other symptoms by up to 80 percent.

More tips? Reading is out, but music can help. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before riding. And, if possible, try taking the wheel. Stoffregen says people feel more control if they can steer the car.

This article was first published in May 2013. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.