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Are Car Windows UV Proof?


Are you looking to go on a long road trip on a hot summer day? Then you must have certain concerns, such as “Are Car Windows UV Proof?” so that you can plan your trip accordingly.

The short answer is No. The side windows are not UV Proof. They can only block UV – B rays but not UV-A rays. The windshield, however, protects against UV rays to a great extent.

Keep reading to find out how you can protect yourself from harmful UV radiation.

What are the Implications of UV Radiation?

UV rays, or UltraViolet rays, are light rays of wavelengths 10 nm to 400 nm. They are not visible to the naked eye. Ultraviolet rays have both positive and negative effects on humans upon exposure.

The biggest source of UV rays is the sun. This is because one needs some exposure to the sun to produce Vitamin D. UV rays are the driving force behind this production.

However, prolonged exposure to UV rays can have detrimental effects on the human body. UV rays target the eyes and the skin. They can damage the retina. UV rays can also lead to sunburn or skin cancer.

Side Windows vs Windshield

There are three major types of UV rays: UV – A, UV – B, and UV – C, classified on the basis of their wavelengths. The Earth’s ozone layer protects against UV – C rays. Hence these rays do not enter the atmosphere.

Car Windows and Windshield

Between UV – A and UV – B rays, car windows can limit UV – B rays to an extent. However, they do not offer any protection against UV-A rays.

However, a car’s front window, aka the windshield, offers high protection against all kinds of UV rays. This does not mean you can never go on a car trip without risks.

Side Windows vs Windshield – A Comparison

Side WindowsWindshield
Manufacturers use standard glass to make the side windowsManufacturers use tempered glass and thermoplastic to make windshields, for additional thickness
Side windows can block UV – B rays but not UV – A raysWindshields block all kinds of UV radiation thanks to the thermoplastic
Side windows have a sun protection factor of 16Windshields have a sun protection factor of 50
They have only one layer of glassIt has two layers of laminated glass. Moreover, makes might also give UV treatment to the glass
Side windows can break into pebbles with extreme forceWindshields are stronger; in case of breakage, the pieces will stick to the plastic in between
One can add additional protective film to increase safetyYou cannot add extra film over a windshield as it will risk frontal visibility

Windshields are much more durable than the other windows because protecting the driver is highly important in a car. The windshield must withstand road debris and sharp objects. Damage to the driver can lead to the car going astray.

How to Protect Yourself from UV Rays Inside a Car

Now you might be scared of sitting for long in your car. However, the effects will not be worse than tanning on the beach, as long as you do not expose yourself continuously.

There are some ways to beat the heat as follows.

Use a Sunscreen

One of the simplest ways to protect yourself against the sun is to use sunscreen. It can protect your skin when you are inside the car and outside the car.

It is prudent to check if the sunscreen that you use offers protection against both UV – A and UV – B rays. In addition, one should check if the sun protection factor of the sunscreen is at least 30.

Sunscreens are quite cheap, within $30. Expensive sunscreens have long-lasting effects. They provide protection and also prevent tanning.

Check out the Elta MD SPF 46 Sunscreen on Amazon.

Wear Protective Clothing

Another easy way to shield yourself is to wear sun-friendly clothing. Opt for pieces of clothing that can cover your arms and legs fully, at least when inside the car.

If the sun is too bright, opt for sunglasses that can block both UV – A and UV – B rays to protect your retina. This is necessary especially from 8 to 10 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. This is because the maximum UV exposure to the eyes happens at these hours.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m, you should focus on protecting your skin more. Try to park your car in the shade even if it is only for a very short period.

You can also go for a wide brim hat that shields your face, neck, and ears. Check out the Super Wide Brim Hat on Amazon.

This method requires additional effort and planning before going out in the car.

Use Window Films

A long-lasting solution is to apply a protective film on the sides of your car windows. You can purchase them either from the car dealer himself or from other sellers.


There are laws against tinted window films in many countries. You should clarify with your state’s law before using one. One must avoid unnecessary hassle with the Government.

Clear window films are also available on the market. Applying window films will result in a 99% reduction in the number of UV rays entering a car.

Moreover, you need to apply window films only once. You can then forget all about your sun problems in the car. You need not remind yourself and everyone else to wear sunscreen or take a hat.

Check out the Heat Control Window Film on Amazon. Window films are quite cheaper than high-quality sunscreens. They also last longer.


While drivers can relax with their frontal windshield, other passengers often worry about the answer to the question “Are car windows UV proof?”. Unfortunately, the answer is a definitive no. Even the driver needs to worry about UV rays from the front side window.

One can beat the heat by using sunscreen, proper clothing, and by applying window films.

In case you tend to sit in the car for prolonged periods from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., keep an eye on your retina and skin. Go for checkups regularly and consult a physician immediately upon any irritation.

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