The solution to stress-free driving may be on the steering wheel, says AXA

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Discover the secret to stress-free driving and making the car a happier place. Will steering wheel patches do the trick?

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With one in ten motorists regularly stressed behind the wheel, research carried out among drivers* revealed what elements would not only calm them, but could also be combined into a 'soother' to reduce stress in the car.

Although having a cuppa topped the stress-busting list, it's not practical when you're stuck in traffic jams, being tailgated or feeling rushed**. What is feasible is something that not only doesn't distract, but incorporates a soothing feel, colour and fragrance designed to calm on touch.

Research revealed colours such as blue and green, scents such as the ocean and the touch of a soft material like velvet have a calming effect.

AXA put these details to a designer who came up with the ultimate in-car 'soother' to tackle stressful drivers. A simple solution being tactile, self-adhesive and fragrant patches that can be stuck on the steering wheel which drivers can press and touch to make them feel calm and help make the car a happier place.

Other top ways of calming down - some more practical on the move than others - were: listening to music (67%), having a massage (40%), driving on a sunny day (63%) or in beautiful scenery (57%).

Amanda Edwards at AXA says: "We all get stressed behind the wheel at times, but something as simple as a gadget like this could make all the difference. While a sunny day and driving to the sound of nice music or waves lapping - or indeed a trip to the seaside - make us happy, failing that, perhaps this 'soother' is the best option. If it engages and soothes the senses, it really could help calm you down."

Find out more about AXA car insurance and more tips on staying stress-free in the car

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Helene Barnes