Motorway massage to combat 'road rage'

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The Independent Online
MOTORISTS suffering from the stresses of motorway driving are to be offered help at two service stations - a soothing massage.

Pavillion Services are introducing their first 'Road Rage' bays at their M6 services at Forton, near Lancaster, and Hilton Park, near Birmingham. Trained therapists will offer a five-minute 'pressure point' treatment. It will include a head, neck and hands massage, as well as eye and neck exercises, deep breathing and other relaxation techniques.

Dr David Lewis, a psychologist, advised the group on how to calm down drivers suffering from the irritations and frustrations caused by hot weather and traffic delays.

'The most mild mannered drivers can get overheated,' Dr Lewis said yesterday at the launch of the scheme. 'Vehicles tend to make people feel inhibited - it makes them behave differently.

'That is why they feel they can shout and yell and attack other drivers. Stress is one of the major dangers for people driving on motorways.

'Road rage has been bubbling on Britain's roads but it has only just erupted in the past year. There are three main causes for it, but it is usually sparked off by hot weather and endless traffic cones. Being delayed is the most the common, but motorists like their own territory and if motorway drivers cut in in front of them they feel as though their space has been invaded.

'A third cause is the adrenalin churned up while driving fast. This is the case especially among young male drivers.'

Nigel Patterson, operations director of Pavillion, said: 'There is no doubt we can make motorways safer if drivers take more breaks, stretch their legs and get some fresh air. They can then re-start their trip in a far calmer state of mind and we are hoping our pilot stress programme will help to combat road rage.'

If the trial is successul, Pavillion plan to extend the stress therapy to their other service stations on the M4, the A1 and the M2.