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Hum Factors. 2012 Apr;54(2):226-34.

Can passengers' active head tilt decrease the severity of carsickness? Effect of head tilt on severity of motion sickness in a lateral acceleration environment.

Author information

  • 1Faculty of Engineering, Kagawa University, 2217-20 Hayashi-cho, Takamatsu, Kagawa 761-0396, Japan. wada@eng.kagawa-u.ac.jp



We investigated the effect of the passenger head-tilt strategy on the severity of carsickness in lateral acceleration situations in automobiles.


It is well known that the driver is generally less susceptible to carsickness than are the passengers. However, it is also known that the driver tilts his or her head toward the curve center when negotiating a curve, whereas the passenger's head moves in the opposite direction. Therefore, we hypothesized that the head-tilt strategy has the effect of reducing the severity of carsickness.


A passenger car was driven on a quasi-oval track with a pylon slalom while the participant sat in the navigator seat. The experiment was terminated when either the participant felt the initial symptoms of motion sickness or the car finished 20 laps. In the natural head-tilt condition, the participants were instructed to sit naturally, to relax, and not to oppose the lateral acceleration intentionally. In the active head-tilt condition, the participants were asked to tilt their heads against the centrifugal acceleration, thus imitating the driver's head tilt.


The number of laps achieved in the active condition was significantly greater than that in the natural condition. In addition, the subjective ratings of motion sickness and symptoms in the active condition were significantly lower than those in the natural condition.


We suggest that an active head tilt against centrifugal acceleration reduces the severity of motion sickness.


Potential applications of this study include development of a methodology to reduce carsickness.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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