There are people with no problem can withstand the long journey in the company of a good book. But there are people for whom all this sounds great in theory, but in reality result in nausea and vomiting.
Neuropsychologist Dean Burnett connects nausea that occurs when driving with “idiot brains” and explains it in his book “Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To?”. Burnett in his book deals with all the shortcomings of the brain, and nausea that occurs during movement is one of them.
When you move, it is natural that the muscles are also in motion. Then, the eyes observe the distance you spend and also in the whole process, the sensors for balance in the inner ear are included. These sensors are like small tubes filled with fluid and the fluid movement that tells us where we’re going. Thalamus collects all this information and sends a message to the brain about where we are.
But when you are in a car, the thalamus receives mixed signals. Your muscles are immobile, yet the eyes can see that you actually move quite quickly. The brain receives mixed signals. It receives signals from the muscles that you are not moving and signals from the sensors for balance that you are moving.
They cannot both be correct. There is a sense dissent. The only thing that could cause such sensory dissent is neurotoxin or poison. Consequently, the brain thinks it is poisoned. And when it comes to poisoning, the first thing that the brain wants to do is to get rid of the poison by vomiting. As a result, we have nausea while driving because the brain is constantly worried that it was poisoned. The brain is just trying to help you.
While you are driving, you can watch the nature outside. For some people, this balances the their system. But when you read, you are focused on the specific page and thus shut down a number of external visual information. It only increases the sensual disagreement, causing nausea.