Although it is legal in Illinois to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, eye protection is required. Motorcyclists must ride with some form of eye protection that meets the requirements set forth in statute 625 ILCS 5/11-1404. Eye protection not only protects riders in the event of a motorcycle accident, but it is instrumental in preventing accidents. Many accidents can be caused if a piece of debris strikes a motorcyclist in the eye, impairing his or her vision and creating a distraction that can lead to the loss of control of his or her motorcycle.
Prescription Glasses Or Sunglasses Required For Motorcycle Riding In Illinois
If the motorcyclist wears glasses, his or her glasses may be used as eye protection if they meet the proper criteria. The lenses must be shatterproof so as to not allow fragments of glass to enter the eye upon impact. The glasses themselves cannot impair the rider’s vision— sunglasses cannot be used at night, for example. Finally, contact lenses do not qualify as acceptable eye protection and some other form of protection must be used if riders wear contacts.
Protective Goggles To Help Improve Operator Visibility In All Conditions
For those who wear contacts or do not wear glasses, goggles may be worn as eye protection as long as they meet the standards set forth by the state. Goggles must not impair a motorcyclist’s peripheral vision and must protect both the front and side of the eyes. Whether or not the goggles form a seal with the face is immaterial so long as the other requirements are met.
Mounted Windshields On Motorcycles Won’t Always Take The Place of Goggles
Motorcycle riders do not require glasses or goggles if their bikes have a windshield that is higher than their eyes when seated in an upright position. It is important, just as in the case of protective goggles or glasses that the windshield is made of shatterproof material. This requirement is in place to keep shattered glass out of the rider’s eyes in the event of an accident and to reduce the likelihood of a motorcycle injury to the face.
Helmet with Visors: Another Option To Satisfy Illinois Motorcycle Law
Helmets do not automatically provide protection to the eyes unless they are fitted with a visor that meets state standards to qualify as effective eye protection. The visor must protect the face down to the tip of the nose and be made of shatter resistant material. Motorcyclists who purchase helmets with these types of visors are able to meet the state standard for eye protection while also protecting themselves from severe injuries to the face, head, neck and brain.
It is important to follow all of the safety laws set in place for motorcycles not only because of the benefit to riders’ safety but because it is the law. If you are in a motorcycle accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will want to find any way possible to argue that their client was not at fault. By following all of the applicable laws, you will minimize the severity of injuries you sustain in the event of an accident and close any loopholes in your case that the defendant may try to use in order to question your level of culpability.