Reading and Driving A Bad Combination

@PinchMe (194)
Canada
February 14, 2007 8:56pm CST
The other day I was in my parents car on our way to a supermarket. Sitting in the back seat enjoying a riviting book along the way, all of a sudden I was hit with a heavy feeling of nausea. I straightend up in my seat and look out the window and instantly I felt fine. But when I bend my head to look down at the pages of my book that queezy feeling came back. I had to give up on reading the book until I got home. Has this ever happened to you? Why do you think it happens?
2 people like this
15 responses
@smartpk (193)
• Pakistan
15 Feb 07
not only bad but also very dangerous for person and others so must avoid to act upon like these childish activities.
1 person likes this
@PinchMe (194)
• Canada
16 Feb 07
Okay....?!? Sorry, me not understanding completely what say by you. But thanks for responding, *SmiLes* :-)
• United States
17 Feb 07
Are you talking about reading while driving??? I don't think that's what the poster meant. I believe they were talking about reading while RIDING in a moving car that someone else is driving. I could be wrong, though...
1 person likes this
@PinchMe (194)
• Canada
1 Mar 07
Thanks for clarifying. ;-)
@freak369 (4742)
• United States
15 Feb 07
Oddly enough, it's from the combination of the motion and what is in your field of vision. That doesn't mean just what is in front of you but what is around you too. If you look straight ahead you see what ever is in front of you but your mind is capturing a bigger picture, things to the left, right, above and below. Think of your brain as a computer; it's processing what is going on in the browser but there are a lot of other things going on in the background. When there is too much going on, it slows down to the point where you notice it - meaning web surfing or processes get slower. That is a very basic reason why people feel a little sick when reading in the car; you brain is concentrating on what you are reading but at the same time it is trying to process other things around you. That's why people read before bed if they have trouble sleeping. You are in a relaxed postion to start with and reading helps calm you a little. Since there's usually not much activity around you at that time, you get sleepy instead of feeling ill.
1 person likes this
@freak369 (4742)
• United States
15 Feb 07
On a side note ... I actually took the time to type that out in my own words and from my own experience instead of cutting and pasting it from some site ...
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@PinchMe (194)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
This is an awesome explanation. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I've actually learned something today. Now I can go and brag a little bit in front of my friends. Thanks again. :-)
@hellboi (664)
• Philippines
16 Feb 07
Reading on the road is really bad for your eyes. I do remember well that this is one of the dont's in the list of eye care along with not reading under insufficient lighting etc. If you don't really get the point just think of this analogy. Your eye is more like a camera. Now what would happen if you take a picture while you shake the camera? You'd get a bad blurry picture, won't you? So this is what really happens when you're reading in the car. Your brain could hardly interpret the images due to the constant shaking you experience. So if you wanna save your eyes, don't read while in a moving vehicle.
1 person likes this
@PinchMe (194)
• Canada
1 Mar 07
Ha-ha-ha! Good try, but I'm affraid it's not like that. The medical journals have all been updated with new research information on the benifits of reading in the dark. The information has been widely available for many years now. But I can see your concern being in a car. There is the stobe effect caused by the passing street lamps as the car is gyrating down road ways. I can't say if this is damaging, but why read in a dark car at night anyways? Thanks for sharing. :-)
• United States
15 Feb 07
I think it is motion sickness. I have never been able to read in the car moving.Not even a map. UGGH I used to could not ride anywhere without motion sickness but driving I did not get sick. I have always wondered why. I still cannot ride in the back seat or I hurlllllllllll
1 person likes this
@imsilver (1669)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
I'm not sure why it happens but yeah, the same thing happens to me. I cannot read in a moving vehicle unless it is night and dark outside. I've taken a few long bus rides and I always bring a book to read but can never read it... lol.. even crossword puzzles are a stretch...
1 person likes this
@PinchMe (194)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
I understand what you mean. I've tried games, books, even magazines but I just couldn't do it. And it's not just in cars but on buses and trains too. Though I could never explain why I kept trying, a strong stubborn streak I guess. lol Thanks for responding. ;-)
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
15 Feb 07
You got motion sickness from reading while riding in a car. It happens to me if I try to read a map while someone is driving. Car sickness is a form of motion sickness, which some people experience riding in automobiles, airplanes, boats, trains, and amusement rides. The discord among signals the brain is receiving from the body causes nausea and feelings of discomfort. Your brain gets information from several sources concerning the type and direction of your movements. The first, and most important, source is the inner ear. The inner ear, also responsible for balance, contains fluid that shifts according to your body's movement, pushing little hairs one way or the other. This lets your brain know about the direction you're moving in. Your brain also receives information from the eyes, skin pressure receptors that tell the brain what parts of the body are on the ground, and muscle and joint receptors that tell the brain which parts of the body are moving. The central nervous system (the brain and the spinal cord) compiles all of this information to create a complete picture of what is happening. If signals don't make sense together, you may experience motion sickness. For example, say you are reading a book in a car. Your inner ear and skin receptors are telling your brain that you are moving. Your eyes see only the stationary book, and tell your brain that you are not moving. These bits of information don't go together, and the result is the discomfort that you feel and call car sickness.
@PinchMe (194)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
Thank you very much for this explanation. You sound very knowledgeable on the subject. I've always wondered what caused it. Thanks again. ;-)
@brimia (6588)
• United States
15 Feb 07
I've felt this when reading on the treadmill. I have heard of others getting carsick when trying to read in the car.
1 person likes this
@PinchMe (194)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
Really? Wow, I don't think I can do that, run and read at the same time. Thanks for taking the time to respond. :-)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
i guess we all do feel nauseous inside the car and doing something which involves our vision. i always play ds or psp when i'm traveling but it only takes like 10 minutes and i feel nauseous.
1 person likes this
@PinchMe (194)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
I have a game Boy Advance that has only seen 5 minutes usage in a car in 3 years. Kinda makes me wonder if the show "PimP My Ride" solved that problem by installing ps2 and psps in the rear seats and ceiling so we don't have to look down anymore. Thanks for responding ;-)
• United States
16 Feb 07
That is unusual indeed. Have you ever been car sick? Perhaps the manner in which you were sitting at the time in a moving car resulted in motion sickness.
1 person likes this
@sweetlady10 (3620)
• United States
16 Feb 07
I can understand what you were feeling. This happens to me too sometime. Actually I can't concentrate my eyes in the book when I am in a ride, if I try to do that I feel something in my head. I don't know why it happens. For me sometime it happens even I am infront of the computer for a long time at home.
1 person likes this
@rovelle (178)
• Singapore
16 Feb 07
I used to get dizzy and nauseous after reading a book during long rides.I went to do some research and found out it was due to motion sickness.As you travel on the road, your inner ear transmit signals to the brain that you are on the move but your eyes(which is focusing on the book)tells your brain everything is still.This cause conflict in signals to the brain and it sort of messed up your brain. Hence, the solution to this is to regularly look around while reading the book. This works for me. You can try it too
@Poison_Girl (4164)
• United States
15 Feb 07
This happens to me all the time. I figured out when I was young that I couldn't read or look down while I was in a moving vehicle. I just say it causes motion sickness. I'm pretty sure that's all it is. So now, I never read while in a car or other moving vehicle.
1 person likes this
@dopey22girl (3327)
• United States
15 Feb 07
I get sick from reading in the car all the time, which is why I can't read in the car anymore. However, I don't get sick from reading on an airplane. Strange??? Anyways, I have no real answer as to why this happens to people when they read in the car, or why it doesn't happen to some. All I can guess is it has something to do with trying to read the words on the page and being in motion, motion which is not smooth. Because on an airplane it's very smooth and I don't feel sick, but a car ride has lots of stopping and turning and bumps. This is my guess.
1 person likes this
@greengal (4288)
• United States
15 Feb 07
It always happens to me so I never read while on the road. I feel sick even when I'm travelling by air or train too. I think it is some symptom of motion sickness.
@PinchMe (194)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
Thanks for the response, I won't be trying it any time again soon either. I think the motion of the vehicle jostling and swaying back and forth up and down, doesn't help the situation at all. :-)
@smkwan2007 (1038)
• Hong Kong
15 Feb 07
Reading books or newspaper in a moving vehicle is not a good habit. Because as the car moves you just can't hold your reading material steady. You eyes just can't focus on the word you are trying to read. If you continue to do so frequently, you eyes will not be able to function normally again. Ultimately you will end up with an impaired vision. You may have to wear thick glasses to help you see clearly.
@PinchMe (194)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
Though I've never heard of such a thing, I agree with you because it seems very sensible. Thanks for the tip. It's a good thing I gave up reading while driving in a car a long time ago. ;-D