Motorcycle Eye Protection: Tips

Motorcycle Eyewear

A recent national survey found that one in five of American adults has experienced an eye injury while participating in outdoor sports or activities, such as motorcycling.

The injury rate is highest for men (one in three) and those ages 25-34 (one in four). The survey was conducted by N3L Optics, a national sports sunglasses retailer.

Why are the rates so high? The survey discovered that adults are overlooking a simple health and safety precaution – using protective eyewear.

Athletes don’t anticipate eye injuries. On September 12, Oakland A’s closing pitcher Andrew Bailey was struck in the left temple by a line drive during batting practice. The sports sunglasses he was wearing absorbed some of the impact and protected him from further injury.

Bailey was lucky; he was wearing a pair of sunglasses that are known for safety lenses and frames.

Protective eyewear can play a significant role in shielding eyes from injury caused by impact (black eyes or broken facial bones), piercings (debris, fingernails or broken glass) and radiation (burns caused by direct or reflected sunlight.)

In addition, sun exposure can lead to eye health damage including cataracts, macular degeneration and some cancers. Nearly all of these are preventable with proper use of sunglasses.

During National Eye Injury Prevention Month in October, N3L Optics offers motorcyclists the following tips for selecting the right pair of sunglasses:

Motorcycle Eye Protection Tips:

  • Select glasses or goggles with polycarbonate lenses. While no lens is shatterproof or unbreakable, these lenses are impact resistant, shatter resistant and filter out 100 percent of UV light.
  • Choose greater lens curvature. More curvature maximizes side protection against sun, wind, and impact. Wrap around lenses sometimes work best because they block light coming in from the sides. In addition, larger lenses may be more effective because they cover more of the eye.
  • Make sure they fit correctly. Rubberized grip points keep the eyewear in place with rapid moments.
  • Hydrophobic lenses can be helpful. An invisible coating easily sheds sweat, rain, sunscreen, skin oils, dirt and dust.
  • Polarized lenses can help with glare. Polarized lenses reduce the blinding rays of glare reflected off flat surfaces; however, they are not recommended for riders who rely on an LCD instrument pane.

For more information about sunglasses and eye safety, check out N3L Optics at