Protecting yourself from the sun

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The warm sun may feel nice on your face, but when those rays magnify through the windows, it brings added risks. Truckers have sometimes found themselves with what is known as the “trucker tan.” This type of tan is caused by extended periods of driving time with the sun only reaching the left arm through the window. While a trucker tan is not very fashionable, more serious problems can be caused due to UV rays.

Skin cancer is the fastest-growing type of cancer around the world and prolonged exposure to UV rays is the leading cause. However, sun damage is not necessarily limited to cancer, with other damage including age spots, wrinkles, freckles, uneven or splotchy skin tone, and actinic keratosis which is an early sign of skin cancer.

Use a good sunscreen

The American Association of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen because it blocks both UVA and UVB rays. They also encourage you to purchase a sunscreen that is water resistant, because sweat can wash away sunscreen quite quickly. As for SPF ratings, you should always look for something in the range of SPF 30 to SPF 50. Many experts agree that anything lower than SPF 30 won’t provide enough you with enough protection, but the benefits are minimal when you get anything over SPF 50.

Be extra cautious during periods of peak UV radiation

Avoid unnecessary sun exposure, especially between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, which are the peak hours for harmful ultraviolet radiation as the sun does the most damage to your skin when it’s right above you. The safer times for receiving direct sunlight are during the mornings and evenings when it reaches you at an angle and it has to travel through more of the Earth’s atmosphere on the way. This minimizes the UV ray’s ability to cause any damage. In addition, you can also monitor local UV index forecasts and take extra precautions on days where high sun intensity is expected.

Install UV shielding film on the driver’s side window

UVA filtering window film can prevent skin damage by blocking more than 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays from reaching your skin, while still maintaining visibility. You should keep in mind that tinted window film is illegal in most states, but there are plenty of clear non-tinted films available on the market.

Wear protective clothing, especially on your driving arm

With today’s diverse types of fabrics and advanced materials, you should be able to find comfortable clothing that will shade your skin and keep you cool fairly easily. One of the best types of protective clothing to purchase is a single-arm driving sleeve to protect your driving arm from sun damage. It is important to keep in mind that the sun shines year-round. If there’s snow or ice on the ground, that reflection is magnified and you are at almost double the risk of damage.

UV rays can also damage your eyes in a number of ways by contributing to cataracts, macular degeneration, and eyelid cancers. So, sunglasses that protect against UV and high-energy visible light and a wide-brimmed hat are must-haves for truckers. As a professional driver, you are exposed to the sun’s harmful rays all day long so it’s always best to protect yourself. By following these tips, you can minimize the risks of harmful sun rays damaging your body.

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