Women Drivers Blog

How to Avoid Risk of Sun Damage While Driving

March 27, 2015 / 

The statistics are sobering and very much a concern that isn’t thought of until it’s too late.

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States
  • More than 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed annually in over 2 million people
  • Treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers increased by nearly 77% between 1992 and 2006 and the estimated cost of treatment in 2010 alone was over $2 billion
  • Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime

Did You Know?

The time spent traveling in the car puts drivers at risk for skin cancer. Nearly 53% of skin cancers in the US occur on the left, or drivers’, side of the body (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology).

Automobile drivers are exposed to more UV radiation on the driver’s side window as well as the windshield. Many believe that the UV rays are blocked by glass but the reality is that the UVA rays, the cancer causing rays that are present during all daylight hours and throughout the winter months, are not. UVA rays penetrate deeper on a cellular level, which is exactly why they are the most dangerous. UVB rays will burn you, the UVA can kill you.

There is a reason why the Skin Cancer Foundation lists wearing UV apparel ahead of using a broad spectrum sunscreen. The sunscreen must be reapplied as the molecules that are actively absorbing radiation is no longer affective after it has done its “job”. Wearing UV apparel is quick, easy, and isn’t greasy or messy.

Many also have a negative reaction to chemical sunscreen actives which is why they won’t wear it. Most people think of a hat, or sunglasses as being “covered”. Not good enough. The average driver spends close to 1,000 hours a year exposing their hands, neck, chest (and head in a convertible) while driving. That’s over 50,000 hours of UNINTENTIONAL sun bathing in a lifetime! Clearly driving can be just as dangerous even if you’ve never had an accident.

There are fashionable options in the marketplace that carry the seal of approval from the Skin Cancer Foundation. One favorite is www.sundriven.com. They are a mission driven company as the leadership team has had family members deal with the realities of melanoma. Some survived, some didn’t. They love the sun and continue to absolutely enjoy being outdoors . . . and driving!

Safety isn’t just about seat belts, air bags, and good tires . . .