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With today’s hectic pace of life, sitting in traffic can send stress levels through the roof, making car journeys a necessary evil. In support of National Stress Awareness Day on 5 November, Europcar, the UK’s leading vehicle rental organisation is offering drivers tips for staying cool and collected while out on the road.

The kids fighting in the back seat, being cut up by another driver at the lights and traffic reduced to a stand-still are all ingredients for a stressful journey. Catriona Lougher, Marketing Director of Europcar UK Group says. “The more stressed and angry drivers become, the more likely they are to make rash decisions and run the risk of an accident. Stress can also result in common ailments such as headaches, back pain, high blood pressure and can even lead to long-term health problems.”

“National Stress Awareness Day is a good opportunity to look at ways to release some tension and stay relaxed behind the wheel. The drive to school, work or simply to the shops on a busy weekend, doesn’t have to be hell on wheels; it can be an opportunity for some time alone aided by some in-car meditation and yoga. Follow our quick and easy relaxation techniques to bring a moment of calm to the journey.”

Europcar’s tips for staying calm in the car

  • Ensure you’ve had adequate rest before setting off on your journey – and that everyone has gone to the loo!  There’s nothing worse than getting caught short.
  • Don’t exceed the speed limit and notice how much calmer you feel
  • Ensure your seating position is comfortable
  • Turn off your phone – then you won’t be tempted to answer it if it rings
  • Work out your route, as getting lost will increase the risk of stress. Europcar offers Sat Nav units to rent from all its branches
  • Department for Transport advise driver to take a 15-minute break every two hours on a long journey
  • Say thank you and apologise if you make a mistake
  • Sing along to favourite songs or listen to an audio book
  • Consider renting a larger car for long journeys to give everyone room

Breathing and relaxation in a traffic jam:

  • Inhale through your nose for a count of five, then exhale for a count of eight. Stretch your hands out in front of you with fingers interlaced and palms facing outward. Hold the stretch for five seconds
  • Curl your toes and tighten for a count of 10. Release
  • Flex your foot (arching toes upward) and hold for a count of 10. Release and extend feet, hold for 10 and release.
  • Move up through your body tensing each area for 10 and then releasing.
  • When you reach the hands, tense and release, first with fingers splayed outward and extended, then with the hands balled into a fist.
  • Scrunch face and then release. Prepare for funny looks from other drivers


November 2008 Notes to Editors Owned by the French private equity firm Eurazeo, Europcar is the European leader in passenger car and light utility vehicle rentals. Since March 2007 with the acquisition of Vanguard EMEA (National & Alamo brands), its network comprises over 5,300 rental outlets in 160 countries. Europcar serves business and leisure customers throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. Excluding franchise operations, in 2007 Europcar signed more than 10 million rental contracts, with 7,700 employees and a fleet exceeding 215,000 vehicles. For more information: www.europcar.com

For further press information please contact Dominic Dennis, Elinor Puzey, Jenny Staniforth or Madeleine Roles at HSL, Churcham House, 1 Bridgeman Road, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 9AJ. Telephone: 020 8977 9132. Fax: 020 8977 5200. Email: leisureteam@harrisonsadler.com



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