This photo, from the New England Journal of Medicine’s most recent issue, shows an unidentified 28-year highway veteran and the “photoaging” effect Northwest University’s Dr. Jennifer Gordon documented in a study of the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation in sunlight.
The effect, clinically known as “unilateral dermatoheliosis,” is not one that all drivers will experience. But for this driver it has resulted in pronounced thickening of the skin on the side of his face most exposed to the sun while driving, as you can see. It’s doubly interesting given the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s recent clarification of the regulations on window tinting in commercial vehicles’ side-window glass, which I blogged about here.
The best protection against sunlight is shade, of course, but in its absence regular use of UVA- and UVA-blocking sunscreens and/or window films that reflect the UV spectrum can provide protection as well. FMCSA’s clarification noted that films that let through 70 percent of visible light (which doesn’t include UV radiation) are kosher for trucks’ side and rear glass.