Can Car Windows Protect from UV Rays?

151-365 (Year 8) Sitting in the sun

Vehicle drivers get exposed to sun rays each time they drive during the day. (Photo Credits)

Exposure to UV Rays may cause skin damage as well as some skin conditions. This is the reason why more and more people are becoming more conscious about the products they use whenever they are exposed to the sun.

Vehicle windows or auto glass is one thing that goes between a person and UV rays. But can car glass indeed protect people from the harmful effects of UV Rays?

The website SkinCancer.Org explains the risk of UV exposure while driving. AutoGlass Safety Council  

“For years, dermatologists have observed that patients in the US often have more sun damage (which can lead to wrinkles, leathering, sagging, brown “age” spots and even skin cancers) on the left side of their faces than on the right. Why? Research increasingly points to ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation penetrating through car windows. UV radiation from the sun, associated with about 90 percent of all skin cancers, reaches the earth as long- wavelength UVA and shortwave UV B rays. glass effectively blocks UVB, and windshields are specially treated to block UVA as well, but a car’s side and rear windows allow UVA to penetrate.”

Check out the rest of the article here.

What vehicle manufacturers do

Autoblog tried to explain what type of protection vehicle windshields provide. Windshield Wiki

“Windshields offer the most sun protection, according to an executive at Pittsburgh Glass Works in Pennsylvania. His company supplies glass to nearly every major automaker, including Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, BMW and Hyundai. By law, windshields must be made of laminated glass, which means they’re formed from three parts: two 2.1-millimeter layers of glass separated by a 0.8-millimeter piece of stretchy plastic. The glass is made to break easily if something – the driver’s head, for example, or a deer – comes in contact with it. The plastic then stretches to absorb that impact. The layer of plastic helps windshields absorb nearly all of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Plastic is naturally good at absorbing UV rays, and can be made with extra UV absorbers to protect even more.”

Read the continuation here.

Related Mobile Windshield Repair and Replacement Services:

Media Agency Reuters meantime came out with an article saying that autoglass does not fully protect drivers and their passengers from the harmful effects of UV rays.

“UV rays can pass through clouds and glass. To see whether car windows are protective, Boxer Wachler took a UV-A light meter to a number of Los Angeles car dealers on a cloudless May day in 2014.  He tested 29 cars from 15 different manufacturers, made between 1990 and 2014.  On average, car windshields blocked about 96 percent of UV-A rays. The protection afforded by individual cars ranged from 95 to 98 percent.  But side door windows were far less dependable. The percentage of UV-A rays blocked varied from 44 percent to 96 percent. Only four of the 29 cars had windows that blocked more than 90 percent of UV-A rays.”

Read the whole text here.


To ensure protection from ultraviolet rays, it is best to wear protective glasses and apply sunscreen whenever heading outdoors.

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