How do you make your driving Sun Safe Driving? Keep the kids safe?
Sun safe driving is a daily challenge here where I live in central Texas. We are accustomed to driving, doing so often. The drivers are more likely to get skin cancer on their left sides, where they get most of the sun’s damaging rays.
How are you protecting your own skin while you are driving? What about your kids? Are you using a screen to help block out some sun?
My first change was to keep a hat in my vehicle. I keep mine in the back seat, but I don’t have passengers very often.
Keeping sunscreen in our cars is not a good idea as it gets too hot to stay useable in your vehicle. Extreme heat is not good for sunscreen. Not only does it break down the sunscreen, but it usually makes it smell pretty strange!
It would be best if you kept your windows rolled up. Adding the special film for sun protection is a good move as well. Blocking the Ultra Violet rays is easier with the window film.
One of the dangers of driving is that we do so much of it we tend to forget just how damaging it is for our skin. Living in New Mexico, when I was a young adult, I had a friend an older ranching lady who wore leather gloves for driving.
She also kept a gun in her purse. That was back before everyone drove pickups and everyone having a gun was so common for all of us in this part of the world. She surely had a wrinkled face, we just didn’t know about sunscreen at that time.
(No, I don’t always drive a pickup, nor do I usually have a gun. Only for cross-country drives.)
Yes, she had lovely hands, not all sun-speckled as mine are. Considering that you are safe for 12 to 15 minutes in the sun, think about that when gathering up your coffee and bottle of water for your hour commute to work, or whatever you do often.
How are your hands, and how are the tops of them looking? Can you keep them out of the sun, and still drive safely? Or do you need some driving gloves?
Driving and Sun Damage To Your Skin
You would think that common sense would tell you that you were crawling into a danger zone when you get in your vehicle. However, our awareness doesn’t seem to be turned on. We just continue to drive or ride for hours a day.
Not only do we expose ourselves, but we also have our children in the car with us! Most vehicles do come with some sun-protecting film on the back windows, so they have some protection, but not enough.
Think about how quickly the minutes can add up to hours. As you are learning to be sun aware, this is just one more step in the ongoing journey.
Even if you aren’t a truck driver, be kind to yourself. Start your day with a good application of sunscreen. Yes, apply to both sides of your face, as the sun’s rays reflect and bounce quite freely.
The window side will be the most exposed and be sure you have applied enough to protect the skin on your face. Don’t overlook that you need to reapply every 2 hours. This is important, as you are getting to the more dangerous time of the sun’s rays as you near noon.
It is a habit, and you will need to learn new ways to help this habit become a part of your day.
Generally, it is the smaller exposures day in and day out that do the damage. We don’t notice until it is too late. Most people prepare better for special vacation times in the sun. Now we just need to raise awareness of daily attention to the things we do and are unaware of.
Protecting Your Kids
You kids also need sunscreen for the drive as well. I know, this is so different from what we do. How often do I just decide to forget sunscreen when getting in the car because “I already have my make-up on!” My habits are not what is best for our family’s habits of spending so much time in the vehicle.
You guys who live in cities also can spend long hours in your cars as well. You don’t have to live in the deserts of Eastern New Mexico to travel distances to school, shop, and all the hundreds of other reasons we drive. Which Color Umbrella Blocks The Sun Best also reminds us of the loss in popularity of the umbrella, due to automobiles.
Yes, your vehicle will protect you more than being in the sun. However, you will get sun exposure from a more indirect reflection. These Ultra Violet rays will in time result in early aging for you and your family in time.
Take Some Small Steps To Protect Yourself From The Sun.
Start each day with a good layer of sunscreen under your makeup. You know that you are not safe with only glass protecting you. The glass will help protect you, but it won’t block all the UV radiation that you encounter as you are in your car. The danger of sun damage through windows can be enough to cause skin cancer with repeated exposure.
You know that aging is going on even if you don’t get to the skin cancer stage. If there is enough sun exposure to cause skin cancer, there is enough to make your skin look older than it should. Be cautious and proactive with your skin protection.
Being safe in our cars is something that we kind of consider automatic, so as I realized the damage being done to my skin, I was surprised.
Please allow my lack of knowledge to help protect you. After having 3 different pre-skin cancer splotches removed from the right side of my face it is evident that ignoring the protection of my skin is no longer an option.
One skin cancer was removed from the left when I was only 21.
Awareness Of Sun Dangers
No one told us how to prevent skin cancer. Suntan lotion was just that. A lotion to help you get a tan. I didn’t know how to protect my skin. Do you have some automatic built-in habits for protecting your skin from the sun?
Now, daily sunscreen applications start my day. How does yours start? Applying a layer of sunscreen protection is a tiny step to protect yourself from the sun when you are in your vehicle, or on any activity that makes a normal day for you.
Is your desk near a window? You will be getting more sun than you realize through that window during the day? Do you need to adjust your skin protection routine?
Make Driving Time Safer From The Sun
To make your commute or driving time safer, make sure you have your sunglasses. With the bright sun in your eyes, you will do damage very quickly, just from reflections. If your sunglasses are a bit oversized or wrap-a-around you can help slow down the arrival of crow’s feet.
A close-fitting pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes from too much sun. Consider this when shopping for sunglasses. Good eye protection keeps your skin safer, as well as protects your eyes.
Another “food for thought” suggestion: Sunglasses help with the glare when you are driving, but they don’t block the sun. The sun can still cause damage to your eyes. A hat, the sun visor in your vehicle, and tinted windows are all important.
A sun hat can also shield some of the sun’s rays, as well as help control glare on your face. Consider a fabric hat that will be easy to have in the car and a brim about 3 inches wide.
I like the ones that are kind of bucket-shaped, as they protect my face a bit, and don’t hit the side of the window.
Of course, make sure to find a comfortable one for yourself. Basics Of Sun Blocking Hats
New Habits For Protecting From The Sun
Yes, I am going to feel a bit self-conscious in my bucket hat driving to the grocery store. And the hairdo will not be as it was. I will probably leave the hat on in the store. I see others who are realizing that we have to start somewhere taking care of our skin.
Sunscreen, sunglasses, and sun blocking clothing all combine to take better care of your skin. Just several tiny steps you can do to add up to great protection for your skin. What small steps are you taking to ensure less aging from the sun’s rays?
Sami’s Take On Sun Safe Driving
As we are learning of the danger we put ourselves in when we drive, better skin protection is just a matter of awareness.
Taking small steps is important. Don’t try to do everything at one time unless you are super organized. I tend to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person. Too many changes are overwhelming.
Remembering sunscreen to start your day is a major step forward. Paying attention to where the good places are for you to make changes. Maybe you do all your driving on the way to work in the early morning hours facing the sun. That makes the drive home into the sun as well.
In these situations, shielding your eyes from the sun so you can be a safer diver is more important. If the times you drive are early and late, your skin is safer than if you are driving mid-day.
Think about your driving habits. When do you need to be extra careful? What is your priority? Staying alive because you can safely see the road at all times? Or is protecting your skin the better choice? Look at what you are doing, and think about a safer way for you.
Maybe your driving time will benefit from a few minor adjustments.
Awareness is what I am hoping for. If just a little bit of information can keep you safe while driving, as well as save your skin from the sun we are doing what we should be doing.
Think about what you can do.