With climate change and soaring global temperatures making the news more frequently than ever, finding new ways to keep cool at home, in the office or in a vehicle is becoming more of a priority for people. Car tinting is a subtle way of keeping vehicles cool by blocking out a considerable amount of sunlight streaming in through the windows, while also offering passengers extra privacy and making the car look quite stylish too.
But car tinting has its various rules, guidelines and laws all around the world, as attractive a proposition for criminals through its potential for hiding various activities. While it is important to bear these in mind, it is also useful to look at the various other benefits that blocking excess sunlight from windows can provide to people.
The Dangers Of Hot Cars
As well as being extremely uncomfortable, hot cars can be seriously dangerous for occupants – and in many cases have been fatal. Particularly vulnerable are pets, babies and young children, who have over the years been the subject of many a tragic news story because of owners and parents locking them in a hot car. In the UK, there were warnings over the dangers to dogs during a heatwave last year, and the ongoing extreme heat and bushfires in Australia led to the timely rescue of a baby trapped alone in a hot car.
The brave interventions by passers-by to save children and pets has led to discussion over the legality of physically breaking into a vehicle to let someone out. Many laws around the world do not protect so-called ‘Good Samaritans’ in cases where a window has been smashed to rescue an occupant, leading to potential charges for criminal damage.
However, the state of South Carolina in the United States is actively looking at new laws to protect well-meaning individuals who are forced to damage a vehicle to release an occupant. This follows numerous cases in the state where children have died in cars that have become too hot.
What Is Car Tinting?
Car tinting is where a thin laminate film made from polyethylene terephthalate is laid over the glass of a window, to reduce heat, UV rays and glare, and provide privacy and protection from graffiti. The film also comes in different shades, colours and levels of thickness, depending on the intended use.
The Laws Of Car Tinting: Do’s And Don’ts
There are limits to the amount of tinting someone can apply to their vehicle’s windows. In Dubai, for example, where the effects of the heat are very strong, vehicle owners can tint all windows except the front windscreen up to 50%, while in Illinois in the United States the laws cover a complicated array of combinations. The headline rule is that windshields can have a non-reflective tint on the top six inches, with other stipulations depending on tinting levels in the other windows of the vehicle. In the UK, the front windshield must let 75% of light through and failure to comply can lead to a fine.
The Benefits Of Car Tinting
While window tinting can also be used in commercial settings such as offices – helping to remove threats such as eye damage from screen glare on computer monitors – there are a number of similar benefits in cars. With better regulation of a car’s interior temperature, there are cost and environmental savings from less reliance on the car’s air conditioning. Air conditioners are pollutants, and their heavy energy use also makes them extra harmful to the environment. With reports pointing out that global warming is driving heavier use of air conditioning units, finding ways to reduce reliance on this cooling process will provide benefits all round.
An extra protective benefit of car tinting is shielding from ultraviolet rays from the sun. These can be diluted by car tinting, which blocks out the most harmful aspects of the sun’s rays. This is important because health statistics have shown that UV risks such as skin cancer are much higher in places with a higher UV index, and with the sun’s rays intensified through sustained streaming through the glass of a car, this becomes a formidable threat. Melanoma cases are also on the rise and 90% of cases were linked to UV exposure.
There is also the added threat to eyesight through intense periods of glare from sunlight. Excessive sunlight makes it difficult to see and forces drivers and passengers to stare more in order to see what is in front of them. Constantly adjusting to cope with the sunlight also causes discomfort to the shoulders and neck, providing further problems for car occupants.
Comfort And Style From Car Tinting
Car tinting can offer aesthetic benefits to a car to go along with the enhanced internal comforts, adding a stylish appearance to the pleasurable ride. In an era where the effects of climate change are rarely out of the headlines, car tinting looks like a valuable extra method of protection against extreme heat and ultraviolet rays.