Are you driving and not feeling well? Feel just in case you… spit out? Many motorists have never contemplated what to do if they get sick while driving. Nausea and vomiting while driving is not only unpleasant, but can be potentially deadly if not handled properly. If you are at risk, if you have motion sickness, or nausea caused by chemotherapy or another medical condition, pulling over and lying down for a while might save your life.
Method 1 of 2: Anticipating Problems
Step 1. Avoid driving
Apparently motion sickness occurs when involuntary movement (such as in a car or boat), confuses the brain, which normally senses movement through signals coming from the inner ear, eyes, and surface receptors. This is common. If you are prone to motion sickness and vomiting, one way to avoid a dangerous situation is to avoid driving.
According to the Mayo Clinic, nausea and vomiting are more common in chemotherapy patients with a history of motion sickness. It is recommended that you avoid driving during the therapy period, if you suspect that problems will arise while driving
Step 2. Take motion sickness medication that doesn't cause drowsiness
If you have severe motion sickness, you can try over-the-counter medications, such as Dramamina or Meklizina. Usually, these medications will work within 30 to 60 minutes. However, make sure to choose a variant that does not cause drowsiness. For example, the usual Dramamina has a sedative effect (soothing effect), so it is dangerous to drive under the influence of this drug!
- Another option is to take antiemetic (anti-vomiting) or anti-nausea medications. For example, Imodium and Pepto-Bismol may be appropriate.
- Always consult with your doctor about the best medication for you. Your doctor will be aware of possible side effects and unwanted drug interactions.
Step 3. Keep chewing gum and gag bags in the car
Be prepared if you are prone to vomiting. Keep a vomit bag near the driver's seat, such as a paper bag or plastic bag, and consider covering the passenger seat and/or car floor with a plastic sheet.
- For example, chewing also helps reduce nausea, so always stock up on mild flavored gum, such as Juicy Fruit gum. However, you may find that chewing generally helps with nausea symptoms. Snacking on candies that are just chewed, can usually relieve the body's conflict between vision and balance.
- The cool fresh air also seems to help a bit with motion sickness. Open the windows on the driver's side slightly or the air conditioning vents are pointed in front of you.
Step 4. Eat ginger before you drive
Ginger is an ancient herbal remedy for nausea, and some studies indicate that it helps with motion sickness. Try taking a ginger supplement of 250 mg three times a day when you have to drive a lot or drive for long periods of time. Alternatively, you can buy ginger gum to chew, so you get the dual effect of chewing and the calming properties of the herb.
Keep in mind that the effects of ginger can increase your risk of bleeding, especially if you are taking blood-thinning medications or aspirin. Talk to your doctor to find out which ginger supplement is right for you
Step 5. Drive carefully to avoid a possible collision (drive defensively) and learn the warning signs that you are getting drunk or want to throw up
If you must drive, drive carefully in case you need to pull over immediately. For example, stay in the slow lane and avoid fast lanes or expressways, as it is difficult to find an exit or pull over quickly.
Learn to read your body's reactions. If your motion sickness usually starts with a light headache, then gets worse, and nausea and vomiting occur, pay attention to each time you have a headache. Use that as a sign that you need to step aside immediately
Method 2 of 2: Reacting to Sudden Nausea
Step 1. Warn passengers
Notify passengers if you suddenly have nausea. Passengers can give you something to throw up or, in an emergency, take control of the wheel. One can also make a bowl out of his hands as an impromptu vomit bag. Disgusting? Yes, but it's probably better than the lingering smell in the car that comes from throwing up on your clothes. The important thing is that passengers know what's going on and don't panic.
Step 2. Try to pull over carefully
The most important thing is to control the vehicle and ensure the safety of you, your passengers and other drivers, as well as pedestrians. Your clothes are behind the things you worry about. If you are driving at a low speed, between 10 and 30 meters per hour, try to pull over. If this is possible and there are no or few vehicles behind you, slow down to a stop, turn on the emergency lights (hazard lights), and vomit.
- Don't worry about the reactions of other riders in this situation. At low speeds, there is little danger of stopping on the road. Open the door and throw up if possible.
- If you can, pull over to the side of the road. At the first sign of nausea, stiffen your body for a few seconds and attempt a "safe" and "low-speed" maneuver to the shoulder of the road.
Step 3. At higher speeds, you have to be very careful
Don't stop halfway. Drive without the possibility of a collision, use your indicator lights, and don't assume other vehicles will slow down for you.
Do not pull over to the road divider in the middle of the freeway (toll road) or highway. The barrier in the middle of the road is closer to the fastest vehicles and provides less space than the shoulder
Step 4. Vomit outside only under safe conditions
As noted above, at low speeds you can stop, open the door, and throw up on the pavement. However, this maneuver is very dangerous on fast lanes and highways. Even after pulling over to the shoulder of the road, you should avoid getting out of the car. Beware. It's better to throw up on the floor of your car than to be seriously injured by another vehicle.
At high speeds, and if stopping is impossible, lift your foot off the gas pedal while preparing to throw up, and switch your foot to the brake pedal if you need to slow down quickly
Step 5. Vomit straight ahead
If you can't pull over, your main goal should be to maintain control of the vehicle. Don't turn your head to the side and take your eyes off the road. This movement naturally causes the vehicle to deviate. Instead, look straight ahead and aim for a case or, if not, the steering wheel/trunk or the front window. You can wipe it later with your hands.
- If you don't have a bag or container, you can also pull up your collar and vomit into your chest. While disgusting, it minimizes head movement and keeps you safest.
- Alternatively, aim for the floor of the car. Better to throw up on a chair or floor than a console with a sound system and air conditioning/heating control.
- Clean up vomit in the car as soon as possible, and avoid leaving it unwashed in the sun. There's nothing worse than cleaning up baked vomit on car upholstery.
- Generally, vomit on leather chairs is preferable to plush or rug chairs.
- Remember that you have to stay calm and stay focused, no matter how hard it feels.
- Vomiting on vehicle floor mats is not so bad, as the mats can be cleaned or replaced easily.
- If everything else fails, roll down the window and spit out the window.
- Driving with a severe cold can be considered a dangerous reckless act, as you put your own life and that of other drivers in danger if you lose control of your vehicle.
- If you continue to vomit or have pain or fever, visit the hospital immediately so you can get treatment.
- Keeping control of the vehicle is the most important thing when feeling sick while driving.