According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Americans spend a total of 70 billion hours on the road. They travel about 220 miles per week in their cars.
Since you spend so much time on the road, it’s important to protect yourself and your car from UV damage. This guide will discuss some ways you can protect yourself every time you hit the road. Keep reading to learn more.
Wear the Right Clothes
When you’re on the road, the sun hits you directly. This can expose you to dangerous UV rays. This exposure can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
There are simple things you can do to protect yourself from the sun and prevent exposure. Wearing the right clothes is one of them.
Make sure you’re wearing long sleeves while you drive. Long pants protect your legs as these do get sun exposure in the car on sunny days.
Keep a hat and pair of sunglasses in the car as well. These will protect your face, neck, and eyes, the most sensitive areas when it comes to sun exposure.
Drive Outside of Peak Hours
Other ways to prevent exposure and skin damage include changing your daily schedule. If you’re able, try not to drive during the hours with the most sun.
If you don’t have a flexible work schedule, you can at least schedule your errands outside of those peak hours. Head out to the grocery store or to see friends early in the morning or later in the evening.
If you can go out at night, this is the best option. No sun means you won’t be exposed to harmful rays at all. Stores are also less packed at night, this is just another added benefit.
Get Your Car Windows Tinted
If you have to be on the road while the sun’s out, the best thing you can do is get your car windows tinted. While your car comes with built-in UV ray protection, you’ll be more protected by adding another kind of tint.
Tinting your windows will prevent the slow damage your daily exposure to the sun causes. It can also keep your car cool and prevent damage to your car’s interior. Tinted windows provide more privacy as you drive as well.
Check out some of the different types of window tint if you’re interested. Clear window tint won’t change the appearance of your car. Carbon tint provides the most heat and UV protection.
Wearing sunscreen every day to avoid premature aging is important, whether you’re taking a road trip or stopping at the grocery store. Even if you have tinted car windows, you still want to protect yourself as much as you can.
You’ll need the protection when you get out of your car as well. Apply your sunscreen 15 minutes before heading out.
Make sure it’s a broad spectrum with an SPF higher than 15. You’ll need to reapply after contact with water, excessive sweating, or after two hours.
Keep Your Car Windows Closed
One of the simplest ways to protect yourself and your car from UV damage is by keeping your windows closed. Keep your car windows closed during peak sunlight hours to give yourself and your car’s interior an extra layer of UV blockage.
Never park your car and leave the windows down for long periods of time. This puts you at risk for theft and can cause a lot of sun damage too.
If you do have to drive during peak hours and need to keep your windows open because of trouble with your AC, make sure you have other layers of protection like sleeves and sunscreen.
Wash Your Car More Often
Protect your vehicle from UV damage by washing it more often than you do. While car paint is made to endure some exposure to the sun, too much exposure can cause the paint to fade or chip.
Wash your car every week to remove surface dirt and prevent scratching. You should also get your car waxed every few months. This will add a protective coating to your car’s paint to avoid fading when exposed to the sun.
Get a Sunshade for the Dashboard
Your car’s dashboard probably needs the most protection from the sun. This is the part of your car that gets the most direct sunlight and because your front windshield can’t have the same tint as your other windows, it gets more severe sun exposure.
The front windshield magnifies the most sunlight and heat and can therefore cause more wear and tear to the dashboard. A sunshade is the best way to protect your dashboard from UV exposure. It’ll keep too much sunlight from heating the dash and keep your car cooler too.
Protect Your Car Seats
UV damage can also reach your car upholstery. Your car seats will show signs of wear and tear if you don’t take steps to protect them from sun exposure.
Leather seats need a leather protectant so they don’t dry up and start to crack. Cloth car seats will fade with too much sun exposure. Add car seat covers to protect them from sun exposure and prevent stains too.
Find Shade When You Can
While you can’t avoid being in the sunlight when you have to drive during the day, you can try to find shade when you aren’t. Look for tree coverage when you get to your destination.
Parking under a tree and using the sunshade will prevent your car from overheating and protect it from too much sun exposure.
Tips for Preventing UV Damage
If you want to avoid UV damage and protect yourself and your car, follow the tips in the guide above. Get your car windows tinted and make sure you apply sunscreen before leaving your house.
Check out some of the other auto-related blogs on our site if you found this one helpful.