I turn away simply so I don't get my face kicked. Though come to think of it, having my faced kick may be an improvement on my looks.
As for staying "live", well .... one could argue you shouldn't have to SEE it with your eyes to stay "live". What if you're blinded or it's pitch black?!? You should be able to "feel" the other person's energy and connection or lack thereof.
Good point about getting kicked - but then, isn't getting hit in the face preferable (by some small degree) to getting hit in the back of the head?
And if you can't see, but detect an opening and move into it, then you could move straight into a strike; whereas if you can see where you're going...
I know what you're saying though.