driving tips, holiday travel, Motoring News

Catching cancer at 100km/h – how NOT to do it’

GLARING DANGER: The African sun stalks with the threat of cancer, even in a car. Image: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – Cancer. That put your brake on, hey? But what has it to do with a motoring website? The answer, as Carman’s Corner correspondent Eugene Herbert pointed out, is that vehicle drivers are in danger.

There are many ways to protect yourself again developing a cancer, Herbert agrees, but some do not react to preventative measures and one of those things is most of us do every day.

Driving, under the hot African sun.


As part of 2020 World Cancer Day (February 4) Herbert, who ramrods driver training company MasterDrive, points out how dangerous the sun can be in a car.

“Laminated windows can help to protect human skin from UVB sun rays – those responsible for the more visible sunburn and skid reddening. Such windows, however, do not prevent UVA rays from entering the car and these rays also penetrate the skin more deeply, causing harm.

RISKING SUN DAMAGE: Excessive exposure to the sun while driving puts you at risk of developing melanoma. Image: Supplied

“Research from the USA (where people drive on the right) has shown that people who spent more time driving had more damage to their skin on the side exposed to more sunlight.

The study also showed that 74% of individuals with malignant melanoma (one of the deadliest forms of cancer) had tumours on their left side. In South Africa, it would be interesting to see the same research conducted where many people drive with their right arm resting on their opened window.”

So, what to do about it?

Well, wearing a long-sleeved shirt would be sensible, but, Herbert suggests: “Use of skin lotion and moisturiser containing a sun protecting (SPF) product. These are not, however, as effective as sunscreen.

READ MORE Eugene Herbert columns here

‘We recommend using sunscreen as part of your daily routine. Keep a travel-sized tube of sun lotion on you as well. Apply it should you feel your skin burning. Ideally, be proactive before you feel the burn – that is too late.”

“Polarised sunglasses will not protect your eyes and eyelids from sun damage: they merely eliminate glare. Instead, ask for UV protection glasses. Take this danger seriously.

“This is particularly so for males who may not put as much time and priority into their skin care. Commit to making use of moisturisers and sunscreen to protect your skin from the damage that many hours in the car can cause.”

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