Recently, there’s been an alarming level of news articles and reports signifying that it is illegal to vape and drive. Whilst this is far from the truth and highlights the clickbait mentality of many media outlets, it’s important to know what’s legal as well as safe when operating a vehicle.
The laws behind vaping whilst at the wheel remain rather cloudy (ahem), so we’d thought we’d clear up exactly what’s lawfully allowed and offer some helpful tips when vaping and driving to avoid any nasty situations.
As mentioned, the laws behind vaping and driving are somewhat unclear and it is usually down to the police officers discretion as to whether to administer a penalty or offence for distraction whilst driving.
What the law categorically states, is that anyone distracted when driving, whether that be using a vape device or any other activity, could be liable to be penalised. For example, if a driver was heavily sub ohm vaping to the point where their vision is impaired severely, then this would be illegal as it’s causing a dangerous risk to other drivers as well as themselves.
Sergeant Carl Knapp, a member of the Sussex Road Policing Unit, states,
"The smoke caused by vapes are a distraction and the consequences of them can be dire, all it takes is a moment to become distracted and potentially cause a crash and even worse, a fatality. I strongly advise people to pay 100 per cent attention to the roads when driving as anything that takes that attention away has the potential of severe consequences."source: The Sun
Alternatively, topping up your eliquid in your device would prove to be a huge risk as the driver won’t have full control of the vehicle and is highly recommended against. Most of this is completely subjective, which is why the responsibility lies with the driver and should be treated with careful attention and caution.
The physical process of vaping when driving is not illegal whatsoever, the issue regarding lies in the fact that you’re essentially operating another piece of electronic equipment as well as the vehicle.
Furthermore, the government introduced the law back in 2015 that it’s illegal to smoke in a car with a child (under 18 years of age) present, yet this doesn’t include vaping, therefore it’s again down to the discretion of the driver whether they think it’s acceptable or not. The full breakdown of this law can be found here.
A large proportion of vapers admittedly vape whilst driving, possibly due to restrictions at home or in the workplace, therefore making it illegal would quite possibly see a huge backlash which could reverberate through the vaping industry. To avoid this happening, here are some handy tips to make sure it’s safe to vape and drive:
This one is as simple as it sounds and is highly recommended when using sub ohm kits and other high wattage vape kits due to the large amount of vapour which they produce. Naturally, the vapour will escape through the window causing no visual impairment which greatly reduces the risk of crashing.
As Vinny Luciano, AKA SirVapingAlot, says,
"I believe blowing clouds can affect your vision. All it takes is common sense, we’re adults and this is an adult thing after all."
It’s important to be mature and sensible when you’re behind the wheel full stop, yet vaping adds another layer of responsibility which needs to be acknowledged throughout. Another thing worth noting is that it also helps to prevent the residue which gathers on windows if you consistently vape in a vehicle.
Choosing a high VG eliquid, particularly when sub ohm vaping, will increase cloud production, that in turn can reduce visibility. It’s advised to switch to a high PG e-liquid with an appropriate kit or pod device when driving, delivering more emphasis on flavour without the production of huge clouds that could cause issues.
A common occurrence is your device going missing whilst on the move, possibly because of taking a sharp corner or going over a bump. Under no circumstances should you try to retrieve it whilst driving, rather aim to keep your device in a safe, accessible space in the first place. Drink holders and side door compartments are usually a safe bet, whilst glove compartments are advised against due to reaching over to the passenger side increasing the likelihood of loss of control.
Dean Williamson, otherwise known as The Devil Vaper states,
"My setup is kept in the cup holder so that it doesn’t fall over and is within easy reach. A helpful tip is to use a regulated mod and a stock coil tank whilst driving or even a simple pod kit without any buttons for a low maintenance."
To reiterate, it is not illegal to vape and drive, however as a driver responsibility lies firmly with you and the utmost care and sensibility must be ensured. On the other hand, if you’ve been pulled over and questioned, then it’s essential you know exactly what the law is and what you’re entitled to do within the legal boundaries.
Please be aware, that should an officer accuse you of distraction whilst driving, it is down to their discretion and interpretation, not yours, therefore all efforts should be made to avoid any awkward dealings with the police.
For more information, visit our website www.vapeclub.co.uk or please don’t hesitate to contact us regarding any queries surrounding vaping whilst driving or vaping in general.