Can you Wear Glasses Under a Motorcycle Helmet and Ride?

It’s a logical – not to mention tempting – solution to a potential problem.

Wearing Glasses Under a Motorcycle Helmet

Can you Wear Glasses Under a Motorcycle Helmet and Ride?Safety (and the law) dictates that you must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle; your vision happens to require that you wear corrective eyewear. So can you simply wear your regular glasses under your motorcycle helmet? Possibly, depending on where you ride…although it is neither an easy process nor a safe one.

A handful of states require only the use of a helmet and do not stipulate vision requirements. Others have laws that require the use of goggles or glasses if a motorcycle windscreen is not in place, but do not specify whether or not standard glasses are acceptable for use. For many states, however, proper protective eyewear – which excludes standard glasses – is required by law. Here are just a few examples of state law regarding eyewear:

  • Colorado – “Any driver or passenger on a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle on any public highway shall wear goggles or eyeglasses with lenses made of safety glass or plastic.”
  • Delaware – “Every person under age 19 operating or riding on a motorcycle shall have a safety helmet and wear an eye protection approved by the DOT.”
  • Florida – “A person may not operate a motorcycle unless the person is wearing an eye-protective device over his or her eyes of a type approved by the DMV.”
  • Georgia – “No person may operate or ride upon a motorcycle that is not equipped with a windshield unless he or she is wearing an eye protective device that complies with standards established by the Commissioner of Public Safety.”
  • Ohio – “Each rider must wear safety glasses or other protective eye device.”
  • West Virginia – “The operator or passengers on a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle must wear a protective helmet with a neck or chin-strap; and safety, shatter-resistant eyeglasses, eye goggles, or face shields.”

As you can see, in many places it is illegal to wear standard glasses under your helmet. Even where it is not, however, the practice is risky. Regular glasses are not designed for the type of wind shear you may subject them to; they can lift off your face or allow wind to dry out your eyes. In certain weather they will fog, and your hands are too busy with your throttle, clutch, and front brake to constantly reach up to wipe off or adjust your glasses. Even if used under a helmet visor or separate pair of clear goggles, your glasses can fog and shift around…and you won’t be able to get to them easily. On top of all this, standard eyeglass lenses do not have the impact-resistance of safety glasses. These problems and more can strike at any moment to present a potentially lethal hazard, and are the reason qualified eyewear is required in so many states.

Shop Prescription Motorcycle GlassesMake things much easier on yourself by obtaining a proper, approved pair of safety goggles or safety glasses. Many different varieties and styles can be ordered with any type of prescription. Regardless of the law, the back of a motorcycle is no place to be taking chances with your vision.

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