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Big Rigs Now Allowed to Tint Their Front Windows

Jim McCormack

Good news to drivers is that DOT has approved applying window firm to the front windows of big rigs, weighing more than 26,000 pounds.  Up to this time, tinting was not allowed on these trucks.  These are 'clear' window films with a 70% minimum visibility rating.  Darrell Smith, executor director of the IWFA stated, "Sadly long-haul drivers, have faced skin cancer as 'one of the hazards of the job' and we hope to help change that with this clarification."

ATA President and CEO Bill Graves also commented, "The health and safety of America's truck drivers is of the utmost importance to American Trucking Associations.  Whether it is doing more to battle obesity and sleep apnea, or helping our drivers avoid skin cancer, ATA has consistently advocated for sensible regulations to ensure our drivers get and stay healthy."  It is reported that window tinting will reduce UV radiation up to 99 percent as well as reducing interior fading, hot spots, and glare.

There is no question that there is a specific health danger to a trucker from the sun's rays.  Even if the driver tans and does not sunburn there is danger of developing cancer, if there is long distance driving with no protection.  Using the proper sunscreen will help prevent the sun damage that causes this condition.

In buying sunscreen, it is vital that it protect against both UVA and UVB rays.  Many truck drivers are exposed to the sun for many hours a day, so it needs to be applied to all areas of the arms and face.  In reality, sunburn will appear stronger through the glass than just having the skin uncovered at an open window.

Danger from the UVA sunrays is even more intense if the driver has fair skin or is on medication.  It does not make any difference if it is a sunny or partially cloudy day, a person can burn.  One should be especially careful when taking medication that contains sulfamethoxazole (bactrim) or antibiotic doxycycling (vibramycin).

A study, which appeared in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology in 2010 showed that in 1,047 people examined, 52.6% had skin cancer on the left, which is where a truck driver rests their arm and the face is exposed.  The deadly cancer, Melanoma, appeared in 74% on the patients' left side, with 26% appearing on the right side.

Another way to prevent severe sunburn is to wear protective clothing, such as a long shirt.  Most drivers prefer to wear a Tee or a short-sleeved shirt , which emphasizes the need to use the proper sunscreen.  If sunburn does occur, it is important to take a cool shower or bath and apply a moisturizing lotion or cream, which contains Vitamin C and vitamin E.