One thing that makes me cringe is when I hear about a new mandatory motorcycle law, and another is seeing riders not wearing eye protection. The article presented below is not a recommendation for a new law, but rather providing information about the possible consequences of riders not wearing eye protection.
Before I started researching this issue, I knew that there had not been an exhaustive study on motorcycle crashes since the “Hurt Report” in 1981. After doing research, I was disappointed to find not a single study related to accidents caused by riding motorcycles without eye protection.
Even though the landscape has changed for riders today, the Hurt Report findings are still relevant as can be seen by how frequently the study is still cited. One of the key findings was that “73% of the accident-involved motorcycle riders used no eye protection, and it is likely that the wind on the unprotected eyes contributed an impairment of vision which delayed hazard detection”.
The “73%” might be a higher statistic than what occurs today, one possible reason could be that today drivers using cell phones cause so many accidents, but it makes sense that not wearing eye protection is going to cause a high number of accidents, relatively speaking. One benefit from wearing glasses or having a visor is that it helps a rider from squinting or having blurred vision. A second benefit is helping protect the riders’ eyes from insects, pebbles, rocks, or other debris. Rationally, avoiding these two issues would help riders avoid accidents.
Although I find wearing glasses, goggles or helmet visors intuitive, I regularly see riders who do not. My assumption, and it is only an assumption, is that riders without eye protection are new to riding the road on two wheels. Whether or not protecting one’s eyes causes an accident or just an injury, wearing eye protection is a quick tip to help avoid motorcycle accidents and prevent eye injuries.
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