The Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration now allows the use of compliant window films on big rigs to block UVA rays, which have been linked to skin cancer.

Historically, the enforcement community and the trucking industry have taken the position that no film is allowed on any commercial vehicle, according to the International Window Film Association, a nonprofit group.

"The clarification represents information that impacts millions of truck drivers who drive many hours at a stretch," says Darrell Smith, executive director of the IWFA. "The FMCSA has agreed with the International Window Film Association that the use of 'clear' window films with a minimum 70% visibility rating installed on the front side windows is permitted."

The change follows numerous reports of higher-than-average rates of skin cancer on the left side of the face and arm, according to a 2011 article in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. That article pointed to driver-side UVA exposure as a likely contributor to the disease.

"Sadly, long-haul drivers have faced skin cancer as 'one of the hazards of the job,' and we hope to help change that with this clarification," says Smith.

Professionally installed window film typically reduces exposure to UV radiation by up to 99%, reduces glare, interior fading and hot spots, according to the group.