Drivers are at risk of sun damage while travelling, as temperatures across the UK are set to soar, new research finds.
More than one in four (28%) UK motorists have burnt through a van or car window, according to new research from Confused.com. However, it seems that people are completely unaware of the risks, as more than two in five (44%) didn’t know you can get sun damage while driving with the windows closed.
To explore the issue further, Confused.com conducted an experiment with the help of Melanoma UK. The results of the experiment found drivers can still develop sun damage while driving, even with the windows closed. And the results show ‘the driver’s side’ or right-hand side of the body is more likely to be affected, commonly known as the ‘white van tan’.
How this can happen is something that’s baffling drivers, with more than one in seven (15%) confused about how you can catch sunburn through a closed window. To help people clearly see the impact this can have, Confused.com has visualised how UV rays can reach drivers through van or car windows. Created to help motorists understand the impact of sun rays while driving, the guide also provides some top tips on how to protect yourself from sun damage.
Worryingly, the sun’s piercing rays have affected many drivers. However, this isn’t surprising given that one in six (17%) never apply sun cream in the UK. This is despite more than two fifths (44%) sharing their concerns about developing skin cancer, or skin damage (43%). Perhaps this is because one in eight (12%) drivers don’t know the level of sun protection factor (SPF) they should be using for their skin.
But as the UK braces for another heatwave, drivers should be investing in sun protection, especially now that normal driving habits have resumed. According to the research, drivers were spending a lot less time in their cars or vans during lockdown. But as the rules ease, they expect to spend two hours per day in their car, on average. And worryingly, van drivers are more at risk, as they’re expecting to spend three hours per day in their van, or 21 hours per week, compared to the 14 hours spent by the average UK driver (+50%) now that lockdown has eased. And this is echoed in the fact that nearly half (45%) of van drivers have suffered from sunburn while travelling.