Anyone who has ridden a motorcycle knows the feelings of freedom and exhilaration it brings. You also know that riding a motorcycle requires extra safety precautions.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
Motorcycle riders are certainly exposed to the elements. That’s both the joy and the danger of riding. To keep that joy, be sure to heed these basic motorcycle safety tips.
- Wear a Helmet: Since wearing a motorcycle helmet has consistently been shown to reduce crash-related injuries and death, don’t go for a ride without one.
According to First Checkpoint, over 40% of motorcyclists who died in 2016 weren’t wearing helmets. Further, an estimated 802 Americans lives could have been saved had riders been wearing helmets.
- Wear Protective Clothing: Sure, leather bike gear looks cool, but it actually serves an important safety purpose too. Protective clothing also protects in an accident since it’s so durable even against scraping asphalt. Not only that, but it also keeps you warm in cooler conditions.
- Wear Motorcycle Gloves: Leather grip gloves serve two purposes for motorcycle riders. First, they protect hands in a crash. Second, they make holding the handlebars much more comfortable for palms.
- Drink Water: Heat and wind can quickly deplete your body of water. So, be sure to refill your water bottle often and keep it with you while you ride.
- Wear Sun Protection: This includes not only putting on sunscreen but lip balm with SPF as well. In addition, be sure eyewear has UV protection too.
Most motorcycle riders would admit that the above tips are sound advice even if they don’t heed them regularly. Beyond just being good advice, one of them is actually required by law in most states:
As of 2018, 19 states require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets, 28 states have partial laws (usually for those under 18), and three states (Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire) have no helmet law. (Which States Have Motorcycle Helmet Laws?)
Beyond this basic protection, and touched on in the last point, is the importance of protecting your eyes while riding a motorcycle. Not only is protective eyewear important to prevent the many diseases caused by exposure to the sun, but it’s also crucial for keeping debris from getting into eyes, obstructing vision, possibly damaging eyes, and/or causing an accident.
Motorcycle Safety Eyewear
Motorcycle eyewear protects eyes from the sun, dust, dirt, and insects. Really, it’s essential equipment for any serious rider’s comfort, safety, and performance. Unfortunately, many riders don’t wear protection for their eyes when riding a motorcycle.
Of those in motorcycle accidents, 73% used no eye protection. (Motorcycle Accident Statistics & Helmet Safety)
There are three basic types of eye protection for motorcycle riders: visors, glasses, and goggles.
Full-face visors provide the most coverage and overall safety, but a helmet with a ¾ visor still covers the eyes. A visor cuts glare and may protect against the sun; however, according to Billy’s Crash Helmets, the level of UV protection is not always indicated by the visor manufacturer. Additionally, not all motorcyclists like to wear visors.
Glasses & Goggles
Motorcycle glasses and goggles help preserve vision by protecting eyes against harmful UV rays as well as against wind and debris. Sunglasses work well for in-town and other low-speed rides. Goggles are better for high speeds that regular sunglasses can’t take. Motocross, sportbike, and ATV riders should consider motorcycle goggles for eye safety as well.
There are many options to consider with motorcycle glasses and goggles.
Popular Features in Motorcycle Eyewear
- Shatter- and scratch-resistant coating. Not only does this help protect against impact and make lenses generally more durable, but it also protects from everyday handling. In addition, dust and dirt from the road and even hard-shelled insects can scratch lenses, so this added protection is essential for motorcycle riders.
- Anti-fog coating. Lenses often fog if they don’t have either an anti-fog coating or adequate ventilation. Ventilation systems are simply airways that let airflow in and out from behind eyewear, allowing eyes to breathe and letting heat escape. Anti-fog lenses help prevent fogging, a major safety hazard since it affects visibility.
- Curved lenses. While some wrap-around eyewear has two lenses connected over the nose, others have only one lens spanning both eyes. Curved lenses provide good peripheral vision, which can be vital to safety.
- Ultra-violet protection. Exposure to UV rays damages eyes and causes fatigue. Eyewear with polycarbonate lenses provides 99.99% UVA/UVB protection. Don’t buy motorcycle eyewear without this protection.
- Flexible frames and adjustable straps provide a customized and secure fit. A snug fit also supports an eyewear’s ventilation system.
- Polycarbonate lenses. With ultimate durability and protection, eyewear with polycarbonate lenses are also shatterproof.
- Various lens tints. Clear, tinted, and interchangeable lenses let you see safely no matter the conditions. During the day, a tinted lens blocks bright sunlight, while mirror coatings and polarization reduce glare and enhance visual acuity. At night, clear lenses let eyes take in as much natural and artificial light as possible for greatest safety. Since there are so many options for lens tints, asking “How Do You Choose the Best Lens Tint” is important whenever you purchase a pair of safety eyewear.
- Foam padding. While some styles of motorcycle eyewear come without foam, many have it and for good reason. Foam padding around the edges of the frame and lens serves to increase protection from airborne debris and is recommended for dusty or windy environments. Clearly, motorcycle riding qualifies. Understanding Why You Should Wear Foam-Padded Motorcycle Safety Glasses is the place to start for help choosing foam-padded motorcycle eyewear.
With all the options available, riders can not only find what best fits them but also have multiple pairs to suit various riding conditions, personal styles, and helmets. The most passionate bikers own several pairs of motorcycle eyewear to match different riding conditions. Fortunately, there are many motorcycle eyewear options available both in glasses and goggles.
In addition to the above features, motorcycle eyewear can also be customized for riders who need bifocals and prescription eyewear too.
Options for Bifocal Wearers
Being able to easily see your bike’s instrument panel at just a quick glance is important, especially with needing to focus your attention on your surroundings. For many, especially those over age 40, that means wearing bifocals.
Many motorcycle riders prefer bifocal motorcycle eyewear. With bifocal eyewear, they can see all the details of their bike’s instruments while also having many of the features discussed above.
Options for Rx Wearers
For prescription eyeglass wearers, some safety eyewear, like the Bobster Night Hawk OTG Goggle will fit over glasses. You can also buy motorcycle eyewear, such as Pyramex Rx Insert for the V2 Goggle, that comes ready for prescription inserts.
Taking Care of Eyewear
Just as you regularly tune-up your bike and polish the chrome to keep it sparkling like new, you’ll want to take care of your eyewear and clean your lenses after each ride too. The following tips can help keep your eyewear in great shape for as long as possible.
- Use a microfiber pouch to remove fine dirt particles.
- Carry lens cleaning towelettes to use when out on a ride.
- Stay away from cleaners not specifically marked for cleaning sunglasses or goggles.
- Don’t use window cleaning products, such as Windex, because they break down and remove special lens coatings.
- Store eyewear in a protective case or pouch.
Caring for your eyewear extends its life, thus saving you money. In addition, maintaining your eyewear improves overall visibility (and safety) by keeping your vision clear of dirt and debris.
Beyond Fashion Accessories
Motorcycle glasses and goggles are much more than fashion accessories. They’re essential for safe riding and healthy eyes. For a relatively small investment, motorcycle eyewear provides critical protection against the eye hazards every motorcycle rider encounters.