Van drivers urged to apply the suncream

As temperatures soar across the country, new research finds that van drivers are at risk of sun damage while travelling.

More than one in four (28%) UK motorists have burnt through a van or car window, according to research from Confused.com.

Most people are already aware of the risks of direct exposure to the sun such as sunburn, premature aging and an increased risk of skin cancer. However, it seems that people are completely unaware of the risks within a vehicle, as more than two in five (44%) didn’t know you can get sun damage while driving with the windows closed.  The study shows ‘the driver’s side’ or right-hand side of the body is more likely to be affected, commonly known as the ‘white van tan’.

Van drivers face a higher risk as they spend 50% more time in their vehicle compared with the average driver and this is in the fact that nearly half (45%) of van drivers have suffered from sunburn while travelling.
One in six (17%) drivers admit they never apply sun cream in the UK, despite more than two fifths (44%) sharing their concern about developing skin cancer.

To protect themselves from harmful UV rays, van drivers should be investing in sun protection with a high SPF. The sun-protection factor (SPF) is the most common indication of how good a sunscreen is at blocking UVB radiation. The British Association of Dermatologists recommends that you aim for an SPF of at least 30 (along with suitable shade and clothing) for a good standard of protection.

Daniel McCulloch, van insurance expert at Confused.com, says: “When we’re in our car or van we feel protected from the elements. But our guide shows that sun rays can still pierce through the windows, so we’re not as protected as we might think. This clears up any confusion on how we can still get sunburn while in the car.

“Now that lockdown is starting to ease, a lot of people are heading back to work and spending more time in their vehicles. And van drivers are particularly at risk of getting sun damage if they don’t use sun cream, as they spend more than 20 hours per week driving around.
“Us Brits like to do everything we can to catch a tan, but on a sunny day we should be applying sun cream, even before we get behind the wheel, to reduce the risk of sun damage.”

(Picture: New England Journal of Medicine)

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the 69-year-old’s photo shows how much more aged one side of his face is than the other. Upon examination, the left side of his face was found to have signs ‘consistent with the Favre-Racouchot syndrome of photodamaged skin, known as dermatoheliosis’. For 28 years, the trucker has had his left side exposed to UVA rays.