Why Reading in a Moving Car is a Bad Idea?

Why Reading in a Moving Car is Bad?

People occasionally ponder whether reading while traveling is a healthy habit. I’m sure you do, too, sometimes. What impact does it have on your eyes, and can it lead to any long-term issues? Don’t worry, this dilemma of yours will be solved as here, we will discuss why reading in a moving car is a bad idea.

I love reading while traveling (or doing anything, for that matter), but lately, I’ve been experiencing mild issues as I’ve traveled quite a lot in the past few weeks. I was curious as to why this is happening, and as I did my research, I thought of sharing it with you the first chance I got!

Although it is fun to read while traveling, as it won’t leave any lasting effects on your body, It may cause temporary irritation and issues like motion sickness, headaches, and eye strains, which might spoil your travel experience. 

In this post, we’ll talk about how reading while traveling can influence you (in a bad way), along with their reasons and symptoms.

Why Reading in a Moving Car is Bad?

1. One Can Get Motion Sickness

a woman having motion sickness

Reading in a moving automobile can make some people nauseous because while your vision is fixated on something that isn’t moving, your inner ear and body are perceiving motion. We refer to this as vertigo.

Reasons for This:

Vertigo is described as the perception of movement in one’s body or the environment when there is none. Therefore, motion sickness can occur when you concentrate on any object, such as a tablet or phone, and not just when reading a book. The inner ear, which measures movement, proprioception, a sense of one’s position, and visual information, are all constantly sent to the balance center of an individual.


An individual may experience some or all of the following symptoms when these inputs are out of sync:
1. Queasiness
2. Frosty sweats
3. Dizziness
4. Nausea
5. Vomiting

2. One Might Have a Severe Headache

a woman having a severe headache

Some folks only experience headaches when they read in moving vehicles. Put down what you’re reading if you sense a headache coming on to keep it from getting worse.

If you continue reading, your headache can get worse, and you might not be able to comprehend what you are reading.

Reasons for This:

As you read in a car, your visual vision remains stationary, but your inner ear picks up the twists and turns. The brain may experience nausea due to this sensory conflict because it believes you have eaten something harmful, causing you to have hallucinations. The elderly, children ages 2 to 12, pregnant women, those who suffer from migraines, and around a third of us are more prone to motion nausea.

Symptoms :

Since almost every one of us has experienced having a headache at some point in our life, I assume there isn’t any need to explain what a person feels while having one, as the headache experienced while reading a book in a moving vehicle isn’t any different or special from a regular headache.

3. One May Damage Their Eyesight as a Long Term Effect

an old lady having a bad eyesight

Reading in a moving vehicle can have an adverse effect on your eyesight in everyday conditions, but reading while driving can be particularly taxing on the eyes because the eye has to work so hard to focus on the moving book or reading gadget.

Headaches and vertigo are chronic side effects of tired eyes. When the muscles in your eyes become tired, it causes eye strain. The good news is that eye strain is an ailment that passes quickly.

Reasons for This:

There are several reasons why reading in a car can make your eyes sore, whereas reading at home never does.

The exposure to strong light or glare is greater inside an automobile than outdoors unless the windows are tinted.

You are probably exposed to intense sunlight more while reading in a car than when reading in a room.

Your eyes:

  • will suffer from too much light.
  • Will squint more than usual to block some of the intense light.

Also, remember that even if you aren’t traveling, reading for an extended time on a digital screen can lead to digital eye strain.

Your eyes are under extra strain when you read on a screen while traveling because the light patterns are always shifting.

The movement of the car, train, or plane causes the book or device to shake whether you read in print or on a screen, particularly on bumpy roads or during turbulence. Your eyes have to work significantly harder to focus while reading a constantly moving text in a car.


In addition to headaches and vertigo, eye strain can result in symptoms like dry eyes, hazy vision, eye twitches, and back, neck, or shoulder pain.

You must end your car reading so you can rest your eyes.

Bonus: How to Read in a Moving Vehicle

Try to locate a quiet area to read if you are in a large vehicle, such as a train or boat. Try to keep away from any potential distractions.

It might be more difficult to find a “special” spot in a smaller vehicle like a bus or an airplane, but attempt to get a seat in the middle of the bus or close to the wings of an airplane. Vibration and movement are less noticeable in the middle of a bus or a plane.

Make yourself as comfortable as you can in your car or larger vehicle. Because there isn’t much room, especially in a car, reading should be done comfortably. Make sure your seat is adjusted to have enough space for your legs.

Lean on the seat next to you or the car door. Remember that reading will be more difficult if you are uncomfortable.

Vertigo, headaches, back pain, and neck pain may be more likely to occur if you’re sitting in a position that hurts or makes you uncomfortable. If possible, lean your book against something; if not, firmly hold it in your hands. Leaning your arm on the window or car door will help you keep it steady. If the print is not too small, you can also place the book or device on your lap or the seat next to you.

Knowing when to stop is essential to enjoying reading while driving. Stop reading when the going is too rough (on the road or in the air) or when the glare gets too strong.

Additionally, if you feel like you’re starting to get a headache or any other vertigo symptoms, stop reading and take a break for your eyes.

Conclusion| Why Reading in a Moving Car is a Bad Idea?

From everything we have said and heard so far, it does seem like reading in a moving vehicle is a bad idea, but as a reader, I understand it is hard to get rid of this habit. But good for us, there is no need to as firstly, not everyone experiences these issues.

Some don’t feel anything like this, and if you’re one of them, you’re good to go! And secondly, if you are one of those who feel any of these, well, you can still read while traveling just by following a few precautions.

Also, do check out some more:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top