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Old 03-29-09, 12:21 PM   #1
toegrogg
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Eye protection - sunglasses saved my eye

Apologies if this is covered in another thread - The search function is giving me random results.

While biking home from work on Friday, I was hit by an inattentive motorist making an illegal and bizarrely unpredictable manoeuvre at an inopportune time. Totally his fault, I'm an extremely attentive rider, etc. etc. I was very lucky, as the combined speed of impact was probably only around 30km/h (head-on) and the driver swerved at the last second so I didn't wind up under the car. My injuries were relatively minor, mostly resulting from my face hitting his driver side mirror. Thank god for plastic car parts!

Anyways, after the fact I saw that the left lens on my sunglasses had a significant gouge in it, right in the center, and my nose was bruised where the impact pushed the sunglasses' frame into it. The lens material is fairly low-grade plastic stuff, but I can only imagine that my left eye would have been seriously damaged or perhaps even removed if not for the bit of protection afforded by the lens.

I almost always ride with glasses (clear lenses at night) just because I find it more comfortable (keeps the wind out of my eyes); Now I'm thinking there might be some reason to do so for safety reasons. What are your thoughts and opinions? Was this simply a freak accident? Common injury? Considering the possible severity of injury, mightn't this become another safety nannies' call for mandatory safety-glasses laws?
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Old 03-29-09, 12:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by toegrogg View Post
Considering the possible severity of injury, mightn't this become another safety nannies' call for mandatory safety-glasses laws?
It sounds to me as if you're nothing but one of said safety nannies trying to gain acceptance for such potential legislation by plugging it yourself.

-Kurt
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Old 03-29-09, 01:06 PM   #3
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it sounds to me as if you're nothing but one of said safety nannies trying to gain acceptance for such potential legislation by plugging it yourself.

-kurt
+1.
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Old 03-29-09, 01:26 PM   #4
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Glad everything is OK, relatively speaking, But , I would say it would be a call for
getting stupid drivers off the road more than anything else
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Old 03-29-09, 02:30 PM   #5
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It sounds to me as if you're nothing but one of said safety nannies trying to gain acceptance for such potential legislation by plugging it yourself.

-Kurt
Sorry amigo, that was not my intent at all!

I have no interest in telling people what to do, and mandating eyewear seems absurd to me (which is why I thought the 'safety nanny' reference was humorous). I am interested if there is any ongoing debate about the use of eye protection while cycling. I guess I chose the wrong emoticon.

Really, I am curious as to how common this type of injury is, if any other riders have had similar experiences, and if this topic has been addressed before.

Thanks to checkered demon for your support.
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Old 03-29-09, 03:05 PM   #6
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I also had a crash that would have taken my eye out if I wasn't wearing glasses. To each his own, I will take my chances with equipment designed to protect me. I am particularity fond of the self darkening cycling glasses that way I only need one pair at anytime
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Old 03-29-09, 04:52 PM   #7
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I've been hit square in the eye (lense) by several bugs, especially when riding at night. I've always had glasses of some sort on though. Being a contact lense wearer, they are basically a necessity in colder weather as my lenses will dry out in short order without something blocking the wind.

It may seem backwards to some, but I see plenty of utility in wearing glasses at all times while cycling but very little in wearing a helmet. I've never confirmed it but I've heard of eye protection being mandatory for motorcyclists in some states. If I get bored tonight I'll try to confirm it. Given the slow speed of most cycling, I would seriously object to any attempt at such a law for cyclists.
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Old 03-29-09, 06:34 PM   #8
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I always wear glasses of some kind.

You should always protect your eyes.
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Old 03-29-09, 08:25 PM   #9
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Getting hit in the eye by a drivers rear view mirror is a most unlikely injury. Bugs and small stones thrown up by passing traffic is plenty of reason to wear eye protection
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Old 03-29-09, 08:36 PM   #10
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Delaware's law about eye protection while on a motorcycle (it does exist ):

http://delcode.delaware.gov/title21/...11/index.shtml

4185. Riding on motorcycles.
<snip>
(b) Every person operating or riding on a motorcycle shall have in that person's possession a safety helmet approved by the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security (hereinafter "Secretary") through the Office of Highway Safety and shall wear eye protection approved by the Secretary; provided, however, that every person up to 19 years of age operating or riding on a motorcycle shall wear a safety helmet and eye protection approved by the Secretary.
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Old 03-29-09, 08:39 PM   #11
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I grew up riding and racing in the "pre-LeMond" era, when no one but prescription wearers would have been caught dead with glasses. I do not know anyone who suffered damage to his eyes as a result of foregoing safety glasses. Granted, many wearers of such things claim to have had their vision saved by them, but this strikes me as no different from the folks who claim to have had their lives repeatedly saved by helmets. Doubtless a few of these anecdotes are true, but the whole body of them cannot possibly be.

I take no issue with people who wear glasses for their own reasons. The idea that glasses are a necessary part of a rider's equipment, however, flies in the face of a hundred years of experience.
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Old 03-29-09, 08:47 PM   #12
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I don't always wear 'em, for instance tooling around the neighborhood with the kids. Sometimes it's just fun to ride in the open air, ya know?

But for "serious" riding, always. I've had tooooo many bugs and stuff bounce off of my glasses over the years, and I've seen plenty of people with glasses-shaped scars on their cheeks, who can tell stories like the OP.
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Old 03-29-09, 09:21 PM   #13
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i always wear some kinda glasses when riding, and also normally when driving my car , working on anything. Real cheap sunglasses from home depot, cool thing is they are AO z85 rated. Been doing this for several years and could tell you stories of the numerous times they've taken a hit instead of my eye. I agree its totally up to the cyclist to wear or not wear glasses but hey for $20 can't really go wrong saving my eyes

and no i'm not a saftey nanny or anything , hell about half the time I don't like wearing a seat belt, I feel its my god given right to go flying out the window in a wreck if I want
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Old 03-29-09, 09:26 PM   #14
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Wasn't much choice in the winter. Snow and wind at -25 C. Yellow-tinted, UV filtered safety glasses at the hardware store.
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Old 03-29-09, 09:47 PM   #15
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I don't always wear glasses when riding, but often, and I have had plenty of 'bug strikes' over the years that might have really hurt without the protection. Since I don't have any clear lenses I don't wear them in the early morning.

However, speaking as a former HS woodwork teacher, I would suggest that if you are comfortable wearing eye protection then you should. Kids in my workshop would often ask why they had to wear the safety specs all the time (I had a rule of glasses on as you entered the workshop) even if they were not doing anything that needed it at the time. My answer was usually to point at the kid beside them (usually operating some large power tool) and say that it only took one accident to damage an eye - and eyes don't grow back.
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Old 03-30-09, 07:22 AM   #16
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I wear glasses. They run me $250 each year. I don't need to spend an extra $250 a year for cycling glasses.
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Old 03-30-09, 08:30 AM   #17
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I always commute with some eyewear. My company provides free safety glasses for use in the labs. I got a nice pair of prescription wraps that have saved me from a lot of bugs.
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Old 03-30-09, 11:09 AM   #18
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I always wear some eye-protection. I have had a metal sliver in the eye from road debris kicked up by a passing truck...not fun
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Old 03-30-09, 11:29 AM   #19
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I suffered a permanent eye injury from a twig poking me while mountain biking. I am lucky, in that I still have good vision in both eyes, but I have to constantly treat one of them (recurring corneal erosion). I don't think there should be a law for eye protection, as there should be no need for one. People should be able to learn from the mistakes of folks like me, and wear whatever protection for the body best suites the activity.

(I wear eye protection for a lot of activities now - isn't hindsight great ?) (no pun intended)
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Old 03-30-09, 02:07 PM   #20
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I wear glasses more often than a helmet. I should wear a helmet more, but after getting struck in one of my precious visual sensors by a helicopter sized insect, I always wear some sort of glasses. However, we dont have a law for helmets, we dont need one for eye protection.
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Old 03-30-09, 02:12 PM   #21
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Eye protection is so important, thanks for sharing your story!

Last edited by Siu Blue Wind; 04-02-09 at 06:59 PM. Reason: advertising
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Old 03-30-09, 02:45 PM   #22
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I'm not the eyeglasses nazi, either (I'm the helmet nazi), but really, once you see a rock 'plink!' off your bike glasses once, you will always wear glasses. Unless you are d-d-daft.
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Old 03-31-09, 01:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toegrogg View Post
Sorry amigo, that was not my intent at all!

I have no interest in telling people what to do, and mandating eyewear seems absurd to me (which is why I thought the 'safety nanny' reference was humorous). I am interested if there is any ongoing debate about the use of eye protection while cycling. I guess I chose the wrong emoticon.

Really, I am curious as to how common this type of injury is, if any other riders have had similar experiences, and if this topic has been addressed before.

Thanks to checkered demon for your support.
In my opinion and experience, wearing glasses is far more important than helmet. I think you have a very good chance of seriously injuring your eye in a normal lifetime of even very casual cycling from flying insects, branches, pebbles, etc. In contrast, I feel you have a miniscule chance of hurting your head. Although I ride with both, I've always (since the early 70s) ridden w/ sunglasses (non prescription) for that reason. I only relatively recently (mid-90s?) made a habit out of wearing a helmet. I wear glasses because I think they are essential for normal safety precautions. I don't think the helmet is anywhere as close to essetial, but just wear it anyway because I have no reason not to.
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Old 04-01-09, 06:52 AM   #24
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I suspect one can take a pretty good ground scrape across the lid without too much damage. But that glasses help a good deal with everyday hazards. I've ridden lots without them. The blink response is pretty good. Countless bugs and a couple of pieces of gravel have hit my eyelids. A couple of bugs have gotten in my eyes. Fortunately, the bigger pieces of gravel have hit glasses!

My wife went down very hard. Looked like her glasses had been put on a belt sander. In spite of the force, I suspect she'd have just barely skinned her eyelid, still a danger. Eyes are back in there a good bit. Tifosi gave her new glasses, very nice of them.
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Old 04-01-09, 07:11 AM   #25
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Only a Darwin candidate would ride without glasses.
Perhaps we do need laws to protect those poor dimwitted souls from themselves,
not to mention to protect our already too-high insurance rates.
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