NASCAR drivers take their cars around the track at close to 200 mph, so they need to be fully switched on at all times. Since not being able to see properly would pose an enormous risk for themselves and the drivers competing against them, many racing fans wonder if NASCAR drivers can wear glasses.
NASCAR drivers can wear glasses when they race. Joey Logano was one notable driver to wear glasses in late 2019. Wearing glasses during an event is safer because they help drivers see the action better during a race. Drivers may also use contact lenses, prescribed sunglasses, or opt for surgery.
Below, we will reveal why it is safer for drivers to wear glasses while they race if they need them. We will also discuss whether it is more difficult for drivers to get used to racing with glasses, or if they are better off using contact lenses or getting Lasik to fix visual impairments.
NASCAR drivers can wear glasses. While drivers have spotters that relay to them what is going on to the sides and behind them, NASCAR drivers must be able to see everything that is in front of them. That includes competing cars and small things like debris on the racetrack.
In many sports, you don’t see athletes that regularly wear glasses do so during games. There are a few outliers, like NFL kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, or former NFL running back Eric Dickerson.
But NASCAR drivers may wear glasses when they are behind the wheel. In 2019, Joey Logano started doing so. He initially did not believe he needed them until he had difficulty reading a ticker in the distance while lounging in the team’s hauler earlier that season.
Logano is no outlier, however. Other notable drivers that were known to wear glasses behind the wheel at some point in their careers include Morgan Shepherd, Johnny Benson, and Kyle Petty.
Glasses may pose a hazard for drivers who are racing at over 180 miles per hour. But for other drivers, wearing contact lenses could pose a greater hazard than glasses. Many people, and drivers are no exception, cannot get used to having something in their eye. This can lead to major irritation, which could end up leaving the driver with worse vision than they had without them.
NASCAR drivers may wear sunglasses in the car if they choose, however many will choose not to do so during a race. That said, the sun is a factor at some tracks, and drivers must do what they can to minimize it, perhaps via tinted visors, otherwise the glare can really impair their vision.
Before every race, you see NASCAR drivers sporting sunglasses that conform to their fashion tastes. Of course, we all wear sunglasses to combat the sun’s harmful rays when we drive our production-line vehicles, especially if we are driving east during sunrise or west when the sun sets. At some NASCAR races, the sun’s positioning can definitely throw off a driver’s vision.
Today, all NASCAR drivers wear visors over their faces while they race. Those who prefer to wear clear visors may opt to wear sunglasses, since clear visors will do little to protect a driver’s vision during a racing event.
However, drivers may choose to wear tinted visors. These visors will give the driver an identical effect as sunglasses, which makes wearing sunglasses unnecessary, even when the sun’s position is in a less-than-ideal spot.
It could be dangerous for NASCAR drivers to wear glasses, because if they crash at a high enough impact, their glasses could shift, break, or bend. But their helmets would usually prevent this from happening, so glasses aren’t as dangerous as they seem for NASCAR drivers.
It would be more dangerous for drivers to go without wearing prescription glasses, especially if they’re nearsighted. This could cause them to run over debris and damage their car or cause unnecessary crashes if they are trying to squint their way through a race.
NASCAR would never let drivers go without corrective lenses during an event. NASCAR prides itself on safety, so the odds are, if a driver neglected wearing glasses or contacts, they would probably end up facing discipline from NASCAR.
As mentioned earlier, it could also be more dangerous for drivers to wear contact lenses if they irritate their eyes. Overall, the safest route is for NASCAR drivers to wear what they feel suits them the best. If it is glasses, there is nothing wrong with wearing them over contacts.
You may think Lasik surgery is the best way to go for drivers with vision issues, but it may not be for everyone. Drivers with sensitive eyes or drivers who do not believe they can handle such a procedure are better off wearing either glasses or contacts during a race.
Drivers could also opt for prescription sunglasses if they choose. This could be a route for drivers to take if they choose not to wear their regular prescription glasses during an event.
They can order prescription sunglasses with plastic material instead of glass, which would ward off the concern of prescription glasses breaking or shattering during a high-impact collision. Drivers who order prescription sunglasses would probably pair them with a clear-helmet visor.
Whether visually impaired drivers opt for glasses, contacts, Lasik, or prescription sunglasses is subjective upon their own individual needs.Each corrective lens type comes with their own risks, so drivers must assess each before choosing.
If they cannot deal with having contacts in their eyes for 300 to 500 miles, they should not try to race with them. Or, if a driver doesn’t believe they can handle Lasik, they should go with contacts, glasses, or prescription sunglasses.
There is no right or wrong answer as to what is and is not the most and least dangerous type of corrective lens. Instead, the safest route when choosing a corrective lens is up to the driver.
Toward the end of the 2019 NASCAR Season, Joey Logano wore glasses, and he finished the season with four top-10 finishes en route to a fifth-place finish in the points standings. For Logano, it wasn’t much of an adjustment when he wore glasses at the time.
Dale Earnhardt also wore clear and tinted goggles throughout his NASCAR career, and he was known for refusing to wear helmet visors, which became common during the latter stages of his career. Earnhardt ended up winning seven championships and 76 races.
However, just as addressing the dangers of wearing glasses during a NASCAR race is subjective depending on the driver, the difficulty of wearing glasses during an event is just as subjective.
NASCAR drivers can wear glasses during a race. If a driver with impaired vision neglected to wear glasses or corrective lenses, it would pose a massive risk to their competitors around them. While wearing glasses during a NASCAR race could be hazardous, it would be far more hazardous not to.