Driving on a sunny day provides stunning scenery. However, strong sunrays and extreme hot temperatures are dangerous to everyone’s health. Extreme heat can source heat illnesses and in case you suffer from kidney or heart issues, breathing difficulties, Parkinson disease, mental disorder or hypertension then your condition may aggravate. Old travelers, infants, young children, and people having chronic disease are vulnerable to heat illnesses.
UV radiation reaches the earth and its wave length is short, so you cannot see it with naked eyes. The three kinds of sunrays are UVA, UVB, and UVC.
- UVA – Longest wave measuring 320 to 400 nanometers
- UVB – Short wave ranging from 290 nm to 320 nm
- UVC – This wave does not reach earth because it is absorbed by ozone layer
The UVA and UVB rays play a vital role in premature skin aging, skin cancers, and eye damage. It also suppresses your immune system decreasing your ability to combat these maladies.
Sun safety tips include –
- Dress according to the weather – Wear light colored clothes made from breathable material and is loose fitting
- Drink lots of liquid – Sip water or drink cool liquids every now and then to reduce the risk of getting dehydrated
- Cover the head – Wear wide brimmed hat or use umbrella to avoid direct sun exposure
- Eye protection – Buy sunglasses that will protect your eyes from UV rays
- Use sunscreen lotion – The sunscreen must include sun protection factor fifteen (15) to help screen out most UVA & UVB rays
Best protection, while travelling is to avoid direct sunrays between 11 am to 4 pm. However, these are the hours, when tourists are involved in outdoor and sightseeing activities.
Health issues due to UV rays overexposure
The effect of UV rays increases due to reflection from water, snow, concrete, and sand. Therefore, it is wise to protect yourself, even while skiing and swimming.
Symptoms of sunburn
- Tender, red skin sensitive or warm to touch
- Severe reactions like rash, chills, fever or nausea
- Blisters can develop days or hours later
- Some days after sunburn, skin peels on sunburned areas can be seen
Overexertion and overexposure in the skin causes heat illnesses like heat fainting, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heat rash, heat edema, and heat cramps.
- Rapid heartbeat and breathing
- Extreme thirst
- Reduced urination (dark yellow urine)
When you experience these symptoms, while travelling on sunny days take rest in the shade and drink lots of cool water. Heat stroke is medical emergency, so call 911.
Heat sensitivity and medications
Some medications possibly influence your sensitivity to high temperature or can hinder with the cooling functions of your body or increase skin sensitivity to UV rays or cause water & salt retention. Consult your doctor, if heat factor increases risk due to medical conditions.
If you are on medications understand the reactions
- Anti Parkinson’s drug inhibits perspiration to keep your body cool
- Diuretics, calcium channel blockers and beta blockers work against heat protective system as well as inclines you towards heat illnesses
- Antidepressant causes dizziness and sedation. Your body loses its capacity to regulate heat
- Anti diarrhea pills cause dizziness and confusion
- OTC sleeping drugs makes you unaware about heat issues
- Psychiatric drugs change the sense of thirst, which can possibly dehydrate you
- Several diuretics makes you lose water and salt through increased urine flow making you feel light-headed and sensitive to sunrays
Sunrays are dangerous for motorists
Even the driver’s eyes get affected because they have to drive with a glare, just before sunset and after a sunrise. Driving with a glare makes it hard to view the road increasing the risk for hazards. During sun glare condition, it is wise to drive slowly and vigilantly, especially passing through school zones.
Tips for motorist driving through sun glare
- Buy polarized glasses, which reduces glare
- Use sun visor to block sunlight
- With sun glare in the eyes, motorist cannot see what the vehicle in the front is doing, so it is logical to leave more space between you and the vehicle in front
- For other drivers to notice you clearly, switch on your headlights
- Windshield has to be kept clean from the inside and outside
Obviously, while visibility is not perfect using the above tips can reduce the risk, during less optimal visual conditions.