Take a ride on the shady side
Just because you're sitting in a vehicle doesn't mean you're invisible. The sun's UVA rays easily penetrate through your car's window glass. So whether you're taking the family out for a Sunday drive, taking off on a road trip or just zipping down the street to the store, protect you and your family with these sun-safety driving tips.

Many people are not aware that the glass will not protect them from damaging sun exposure. Even though most car windows will block sunburn-causing UVB rays, the glass does not provide protection from UVA rays, which cause premature aging and melanoma. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation reports that people who spend a lot of time on the road have rougher, more pigmented skin on their left side and jaw due to sun exposure.

A 2008 study of nearly 900 cancer patients by dermatologist Scott Fosko revealed that the rate of cancers directly correlates to the areas of the body most often exposes to UV radiation while driving.

Some Driving Tips

  • First, make sure your vehicle's windows are tinted to maximum value allowed by your state's regulations. Window film comes in a variety of tints, and most will block 99 percent of ultraviolet rays. You can also purchase a cover to put over windows or cover the whole window.

  • Before getting in your car, apply a liberal amount of sunscreen (at least SPF 30) to those skin areas exposed to the sun: hands, forearms, neck, ears, face and chest.

  • Wear a hat with a brim and sunglasses when driving.

  • Consider wearing driving gloves. You can purchase gloves that are meant for this very purpose, or just slip on a lightweight cotton pair. There are also sun sleeves available that will keep your hands and forearms protected from the sun's rays.

  • Drive with the windows up as much as possible.

  • If you're driving or riding in a convertible, it's especially important to wear a hat, sunglasses and lather on the sunscreen, as you're a direct target from the sun.

  • If possible, avoid driving under the direct glare of the sun from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and especially just after noon when UV levels are at their highest.

The fact is, you can't avoid the sun while driving, but you can take precautions to minimize its affect. Your skin will thank you!

For more information visit The Skin Cancer Foundation.