It's nearly autumn, and that means the sweltering temperatures that come with the dog days of summer are largely behind us. However, when it comes to staying protected from the sun, truckers can't let their guards down now, because their skin can still take plenty of damage from the sun's rays.
The following are some good steps to follow through on, regardless of season, to avoid sunburns and worse damage:
1) Put on sunscreen every day
This might seem like overkill, but you may have heard a good reason why you should apply a high-quality sunscreen every time you get behind the wheel, according to JB Hunt. It's true: You can get a sunburn even on a cloudy day. As such, sunscreen on any exposed skin (at least) is a must in spring, summer and even fall, as well as any bright days in the winter.
2) Wear sunglasses
A lot of the most visible damage sun exposure tends to do can come around the eyes, JB Hunt said. A great, simple way to beat that problem is to wear sunglasses with UV protection, and you can usually buy them just about anywhere. Having an extra pair or two on hand in case you misplace your current pair is also a good idea. (And as an added bonus, sunglasses can make driving safer when there's a lot of glare on the road.)
3) Be aware of high-danger times
As fall arrives, the sun starts hanging lower in the sky each day, and that means there's a stronger glare to face around dawn and dusk (depending on the direction you're driving in), according to ATBS. That doesn't just make it more difficult to see the road in front of you, it also means your sun exposure increases greatly, so just before sunrise or sunset is a good time to re-apply sunscreen.
4) Talk to a doctor
The next time you go to the doctor (and that's something you should do on a regular basis, such as getting an annual checkup), you should ask about sun exposure and what that might mean for you, ATBS added. There may be unique risk factors for you that have to be taken into account, and together, you can craft a plan to keep you happy and healthy on the road.
5) Wear long sleeves
A simple way to avoid "trucker's tan" on your left arm is to wear shirts with long sleeves while you're driving, according to P&S Transportation. Even if it's hot, a lightweight long-sleeve shirt can be comfortable in the air conditioning in your cab, and you can take it off when you have to get out. Just keep in mind that fabric doesn't offer foolproof sun protection, and you should still use sunscreen even when you're covering your skin.
6) Do all this year-round
Again, sun risk doesn't go away just because hot summer temps do, P&S Transportation advised. As such, getting into the habit of following sun protection methods like those outlined above is always a good idea, and makes sure you're doing well 365 days a year.
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