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Is eye protection required under Missouri motorcycle law?

No. But while Missouri laws do not require motorcyclists to wear eye protection, it is a good idea to do so. Sunglasses and regular eyeglasses are often not enough protection to keep a rider safe, as they are not secured to the rider’s head and are not strong enough to deflect debris.

Eye protection such as face shields and goggles can save a rider from injury in several different ways, including:

  • Preventing a crash. Eye protection not only protects a rider’s eyes in an accident, it can significantly reduce the chances of an accident occurring at all. Fitted goggles and face shields can prevent dust, insects, debris, water, and small particles from impairing vision while riding, and goggles that are tinted with UV protection can prevent glare from obscuring your view of the road.
  • Mitigating injuries. Most of the motorcycle helmets approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation feature an eye or face shield. The highest-rated shields completely cover the rider’s face and completely seal the front of the helmet. While this type of helmet protects your head from blunt trauma in an accident, it also protects your entire face from road rash, fractures, glass, and projectiles.
  • Extending riding life. Even when a crash doesn’t occur, motorcycle riding can cause serious eye injuries if debris strikes the eye or if constant UV exposure leads to vision loss. Riders who need eyeglasses can easily find goggles that fit over their glasses and secure to the head with a band, giving their eyes extra protection while ensuring their glasses remain in place. Riders who wear contact lenses are also urged to wear goggles or face shields, as they can prevent debris from becoming lodged under the lens.

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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.

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