Motion sickness in public road transport: the effect of driver, route and vehicle

Ergonomics. 1999 Dec;42(12):1646-64. doi: 10.1080/001401399184730.


Relationships between vehicle motion and passenger sickness have been investigated in a survey of 3256 passengers travelling on 56 mainland UK bus or coach journeys. Vehicle motion was measured throughout all journeys, yielding over 110 h of six-axis coach motion data from five types of coach and 17 different drivers. Overall, 28.4% of passengers reported feelings of illness, 12.8% reported nausea and 1.7% reported vomiting during coach travel. Passenger nausea and illness ratings increased with increased exposure to lateral coach motion at low frequencies (< 0.5 Hz). Motion in other axes correlated less well with sickness, although there were some intercorrelations between the motions in the different axes. Sickness levels among passengers were greater with drivers who drove to produce higher average magnitudes of fore-and-aft and lateral vehicle motion. Nausea occurrence was greater on routes classified as being predominantly cross-country where magnitudes of lateral vehicle motion were significantly higher. Lateral motion and motion sickness increased from the front to the rear of each vehicle. No significant differences in sickness were found between the five different vehicle types used in the study. The applicability of a motion sickness dose model to these data is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Motion Sickness*
  • Motion*
  • Motor Vehicles*