Summer is the perfect time for road trips, but just because you are inside your car doesn't mean you are completely protected from the sun's rays. You may not get burned, but there's still a risk of skin damage and possibly even skin cancer down the line.
Can you get a sunburn through a car windshield?
The short answer is NO.
But, there is still a risk of skin damage in your car. The sun emits 3 types of UV rays of different wavelengths. The atmosphere blocks the most harmful i.e. the UV-C radiation. Your windshield typically blocks the rest (UVA & UVB). But, your side windows are different. Most side windows only block UVB radiations.
The Good News:
It is that it's the UVB radiations are the ones that cause sunburns.
The Bad News:
You are still absorbing UVA rays.
UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and exposure may lead to skin cancer. So, what can you do to protect yourself? Most windshields are laminated which blocks UVA and UVB rays. You can install a protective film on side windows to block UVA rays. You can also protect yourself with sunscreen. So, while you won't get a sunburn while driving, it's still a good idea to lather up.