Is it Illegal to Vape and Drive?
Unraveling the Truth
In recent times, vaping, particularly while driving, has come into the spotlight. With eye-catching headlines such as ‘Drivers risk losing their license for vaping at the wheel,’ one could be led to believe that such an act is a legal offense. However, this could not be further from the truth. Allow us to explain.
Is It Illegal to Vape and Drive?
Contrary to popular belief, there are no specific laws currently in place that prohibit vaping while driving. As such, drivers cannot be prosecuted for merely partaking in vaping while operating a vehicle. However, it’s essential to note that vaping, like other activities such as eating, drinking, or even smoking, can be considered contributing factors to a careless driving charge.
Now you might be asking, if it’s not directly illegal, why all the fuss about vaping and driving? Well, as it turns out, the core of the problem lies in distraction, not the act of vaping itself.
Vaping as a Distraction: Authorities Weigh In
Authorities worldwide have expressed their concerns about the distracting nature of vaping while driving. Sergeant Carl Knapp of the Sussex Roads Policing Unit voiced his concerns about the distraction caused by vaping. He underlined that while there are no specific laws prohibiting vaping, drivers must always have full and proper control of their vehicles.
“The vapour caused by vapes can be a distraction, and the consequences can be dire. All it takes is a moment of distraction to potentially cause a crash or, even worse, a fatality. If you’re going to vape, I advise that you open your windows and exhale the vapour directly out. Just ensure you’re fully controlling your vehicle.”
Another voice from the authorities, Sergeant John Davis of Surrey Police, further illuminated that this offense is not exclusive to vaping.
“In a scenario where someone could potentially be distracted or have reduced visibility, there’s potential for a crash.”
These views from the authorities underscore the crucial need for drivers to minimize distractions of all kinds, including vaping.
Can I Vape and Drive?
To put it plainly, yes, it is perfectly legal to vape and drive. However, as the adage goes, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” The potential for distraction is something drivers should take seriously. Misleading headlines may give the impression that vaping is less appealing, especially to smokers who may misinterpret these and think they can smoke but not vape while driving. This misinformation can have serious repercussions, potentially dissuading smokers from making the healthier switch to vaping.
We believe it’s crucial to set the record straight to prevent any misconceptions that could harm the public perception of vaping as a safer alternative to smoking. With clear information, drivers can make informed decisions about their habits on the road.
Vaping and Driving: Dos and Don’ts
Safety should always be the number one priority for drivers. We share the police’s concerns regarding road safety. As such, we have crafted a list of do’s and don’ts for vaping and driving. We hope these tips will encourage safe practices and prevent any possible mishaps.
Do: Open the Window While Vaping and Driving
An open window is a simple yet effective way to mitigate some risks associated with vaping while driving. This measure serves two main purposes:
- It helps to prevent the build-up of residue that forms on windows when you vape in enclosed spaces over prolonged periods. This residue can obscure vision, creating a potential hazard.
- An open window allows the vapour to dissipate more quickly, reducing the chance of vision obstruction due to a dense cloud. After all, every driver knows how vital clear vision is to safe driving.
Don’t: Drip and Drive
While this might seem like common sense, it’s worth mentioning: don’t drip and drive. Removing the top of your dripper, taking the top off your e-liquid bottle, and dripping it onto your cotton safely is a complex process that should never be attempted while driving.
Do: Adjust Your E-liquid Type Before You Vape and Drive
Choosing the right type of e-liquid can make a significant difference in your driving experience. Vaping a heavy VG (Vegetable Glycerin) e-liquid can produce thicker clouds, potentially reducing visibility. It could be a safer choice to opt for a higher PG (Propylene Glycol) e-liquid when driving, as these tend to create less dense vapour.
Do: Choose Your Vape Setup Wisely
If you’re embarking on a long car trip, choosing an easy-to-maintain vape setup with a good battery life is a smart move. Plan your journey with vaping breaks at safe stops, so you’re not tempted to fiddle with your vape while on the road. If possible, travel with a fellow vaper who can safely manage the vape device from the passenger seat.
Don’t: Hold Your E-cig Near Your Mouth
Safety first! Holding your e-cig near your mouth while driving is not a good idea. A sudden stop or collision could result in the e-cig hitting your teeth or face, leading to injury.
Do: Designate a Safe Place for Your E-cig
Proper storage for your e-cig while driving is essential. The last thing you want is for your e-cig to roll under a pedal or to start firing accidentally if it falls and hits the fire button. Find a safe and secure place in your vehicle where your e-cig can rest when not in use.
Remember, if you choose to vape while driving, please ensure you do so responsibly, keeping your attention on the road and your safety, and the safety of others, in mind.