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Safe Driving

It’s that time of the year for many of us in the snow belt. It’s classic car show time. Mustangs, T-Birds, expensive imports, all varieties of convertible leave the hibernation of their garage homes and are proudly driven where only snow, sand, and salt went weeks before.

Top down

I recently wrote a little piece about the dangers of UV exposure while driving a vehicle. With the rooftop and windows down, it makes sense that our skin would now be exposed to potentially damaging sun rays and we should all take precautions. I also mentioned that these rays can actually penetrate the interior of your car through the windows. That long drive to visit mom in Peoria could be more dangerous than you think.

Dangerous rays and window panes

So, rather than simply bring up a problem and offer a few basic solutions, I decided to dig deeper and here are some things that I found. Window tints can help block out harmful rays and offer other great features. (Before I go into details, I must add a provision. Municipalities have different laws regarding window tinting and caution must be exercised when deciding to darken car windows as it can be more difficult to see inside the car from the outside.) So, "caveat emptor" in all cases.

Tinted windows

According to a recent automobile industry article, here are some ideas that may help you as you think about your cruise to Illinois.1

Types of window tints and their effectiveness

  • Dyed Film: Blocks glare, less expensive, but provides the least amount of UV and heat protection because the sun and the UV rays change it from black to purple as it fades.
  • Carbon Film: Reflects as much at 40% of infrared light and does not fade, so this is a pretty good choice.
  • Ceramic Film: The best ceramic tint performs very well by blocking up to 99% of UV rays, reduces glare and does not fade (no purple windows).
  • Factory Installed Tinting: These windows are permanently tinted through a process known as “deep dipping”. This darkens the glass but is not the best tint for UV protection. Your car will be cooler with this type of tinting, but won’t offer a lot of protection from the sun.

Here are some other benefits of window tinting

  • Keeps your car cooler
  • Cuts down on glare for safer driving
  • Provides more privacy (remember to consider if this is best for you)
  • Reduces fuel consumption in the summer (it’s cooler inside)
  • Helps reduce interior fading
  • Boosts glass protection (may prevent glass from shattering upon impact)

Here is another thing to consider. If you live in the colder climates, you may want to warming effects of the sun at certain times of the year. So, that summer benefit may not be beneficial during the winter.

Bring mom something

As mentioned, be sure to understand the laws in your county and state (and any place to which you are traveling). I know of one person who contacted his local law enforcement and was able to get special permission to tint his windows because of his past melanoma diagnosis. As always, the learning curve in all things skin cancer is high so always cover up and use sunscreen when you anticipate sun exposure. Oh, and don’t forget to bring mom some flowers.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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