The cumulative risks of sun exposure to the skin and eyes have been known for quite some time now, but since May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to share a concerning statistic: Nearly 53 percent of skin cancer cases occur on the left, or drivers' side, of the body.
A recent study published by JAMA Ophthalmology echoes this concern and helps to raise awareness of the increased risk of cataracts due to low UV ray protection from side vehicle windows.
Many don’t realize that while in a car, it is just as important to protect yourself and your loved ones from cumulative skin and eye damage as when you are outside! The study found that the average percentage of front windshield UV-A blockage was 96% which was 25% higher than the side-window UV-A blockage. This translates to the fact that the average side-window of a vehicle may only block about 70% of dangerous UV rays.
It is a common misconception that new vehicles are equipped with adequate UV ray protection. This is simply not the case! Only windows professionally treated or windows with professional installed window film can provide protection from the UV-A rays entering your car.
These study results align with what the IWFA has known for years - people need a way to protect themselves from these dangerous rays that goes beyond simply applying sunscreen and wearing sunglasses. Sunscreen is important, but it must be reapplied every four to six hours.
Sunglasses certainly help, but most of them only protect the front portion of your eyes, not the corners and sides, which may be consistently exposed to UV rays while driving.
However, there is good news! The solution we're all looking for? Professionally installed window film.
Window film is a thin sheet of film with layers and coatings that comes in various shades from completely clear, to very dark. A professional installation can help block up to 99% of UV rays from entering your vehicle and reduces sun glare exposure while you are driving.
It is also a quick and cost efficient way to upgrade your vehicle - no matter how old or new it may be. A professional installation of window film on a vehicle can usually be done in just a few hours... just in time for your upcoming summer travel!
For more information on how you can better protect yourself and your loved ones while on the road this summer, be sure to read the IWFA's automotive consumer booklet. Looking to connect with your local, accredited window film installer? Visit our Business Locator!
Happy Summer Driving!