My mother has informed me that I had a similar response to car travel when little. We lived in the country and she restricted driving into town for errands to once a week because of it.
Sometimes cars do calm kids down. Years ago, when I had a car, a friend had a baby who sometimes wouldn't sleep at all unless he could ride around in the car. Since my friend was carfree, he sometimes called me in the middle of the night to come drive the baby around until he fell asleep. Usually the baby's dad was so exhausted that he also fell asleep!
The previous posts from the usual suspects provided once again their own agenda driven nightmares and were as expected totally irrelevant responses to the specific situation.
My fil used to drive my husband around as a baby to get him to fall asleep. My children were very perplexing to them. It is likely a form of motion sickness. I still suffer from it at times.
We actually made the 8 hour trip again a few months later, but took a bus instead. It added a couple of hours to the trip, but without the non stop crying. The kids tolerated car rides okay from about age 4 on, so we switched back to car rental for mid distance travel. Long distance travel gets taken by plane.
From my understanding, the most significant safety issue for cyclists and presumably pedestrians in European countries is that the motor vehicle driver is held legally responsible for any collision that may occur with other non-motor vehicle road user.
The acceptance of much lower speed limits in residential areas -- between 30 and 40km/h -- seems to have been widespread in various parts of Europe we have visited, and to a certain extent here in Australia. Traffic "calming" measures, including the widerspread use of roundabouts, have been accepted once they have been installed, although have been resisted beforehand.
Much tighter laws and scrutiny covering drunk and drugged drivers does have an effect, although there are some who just think they won't be caught. Stiffer penalties obviously would be helpful. The same could be said of incompetent drivers, but then we return to the education side of things. And introduction of psyche tests for driver's licensing might not be a bad idea.
Just to lighten the tone: A lot of children were conceived in cars :), so the car came first.
I'm not anti-car, but anti overuse of cars. I can't easily shift me, my wife, two dogs and belongings from Scotland to France without a car (though I could choose not to have a place in France)
In my village in the UK, parents drive their kids the 1/2 mile to the local school (and complain that traffic makes it dangerous for them to walk there - guess what the traffic consists of?)
The same folk will drive the half mile to the station to get a train into work, then spend £50 a month on gym membership.
We have a local delivery service which uses people using their own cars. One guy drives into our cul de sac in a Subaru WRX, and stops and starts it 5 times in 200 yards to move to each delivery address.
The car as we know it is going to die at some point. Even if we get emissions under control, limited road space and gridlock must spell a change in transport modalities.
By the way, the EU laws on liability are just a default provision. If it can be shown that the vulnerable user is the cause of the incident the default can be challenged.