Steve takes a look at the risks from sun damage from a forgotten source.... Whilst driving.
How do you get sun damage?
everyone is aware the damage the sun can do to your skin and how to protect it when out and about by using suncream. But getting sunburn whilst driving is often an afterthought for most motorists and when considered, you would naturally assume that convertible car drivers are mainly at risk. As much as this would be a correct assumption other drivers at high risk from increased sun exposure include van drivers, lorry drivers or bus drivers due to the amount of driving their jobs entail up to 21 hours of driving in some cases, compared to the average motorists 14 hours.
In a recent survey conducted by confused.com, they found that 44% of van drivers admitted to getting a tan whilst driving, and 42% admitted to getting sunburnt whilst driving. Most motorists believe that their vehicles offer adequate protection from the suns UVA & UVB rays but this isn't the case and you can get burnt with the side windows either up or down. The only glass to offer protection from these rays is the windscreen because it is laminated. Tempered glass, as found on side windows, rear windows and sunroofs offer little or no protection at all. This explains why motorists will end up with the right side of their face/arms (left if you live in left hand rive countries) tanned or burnt compared to the left side which is away from direct sunlight.
Protecting yourself and your passengers
As a driver or front passenger the only real protection is to apply suncream on a regular basis, as well as wearing a peaked cap to protect your face and eyes. Finally an unpopular option, you can always cover up your arms with long sleeve clothing and use your air conditioning to keep you cool. However for rear passengers there are more options. some motorists would consider protecting rear passengers more important if transporting their precious cargo... the kids. to protect them you can have window tinting film applied to your side and rear window which in some cases can protect passengers from up to 99% of the UV rays. Tinted rear windows are standard on some vehicles and is a worth while option when protecting your skin is concerned. oh, and in case your wondering tinted windows do not obstruct your visibility but they are illegal for front window applications. In addition rear side window sun shades are available for most models of vehicle and are applied via suction cups. they are also available in various patterns/styles and can be available with your child's favorite TV/film character.
One last thing
Don't forget to protect your eyes from sun light by wearing sunglasses whilst driving as well as using your sunvisors. The eye can be damaged by the suns UV rays being absorbed by the eye lenses which over time can cause the eye to develop cataracts. in the worse cases sun expositor to the eyes can cause you to go blind.