Most people start vaping to avoid losing their lives to cigarettes. But what’s the point in doing that if you’re going to risk losing your life in a car accident?
While this may sound a bit dramatic, vaping can put you in harms way behind the wheel. Although we have no statistics to show how many accidents occur as a result of puffing away in a moving car, common sense would dictate that, if not done properly, this hobby could cause some serious trouble.
But there’s no need to let unsafe driving hamper your ability to vape. Just follow a few simple guidelines and you can make getting from points “A” to “B” both safe and fun.
Is Vaping and Driving Legal?
This is a good question to ask yourself. There’s no point in looking into safety tips if you can’t legally vape while driving in the first place. After all, you can “safely” hold a beer in your hand as you speed down the freeway, but that doesn’t mean you won’t land yourself in a heap of trouble.
While most states have distracted driving laws in place, these apply to devices like cell phones, MP3 players and other portable electronic devices. There’s no law specifically stating that you can’t vape and drive.
However, this doesn’t mean that vaping won’t distract you or affect your driving in some other way. It’s also worth noting that, because of the open interpretation regarding “distracted driving,” some strict cops might snag you at their discretion.
Long story short, it’s not literally illegal to vape and drive, but do so at your own risk.
Again, distracted driving is a one-way ticket to, well, a ticket. Some states with these laws are lenient, while others will throw the book at you hard enough to leave a mark. Don’t let vaping land you in this position.
Would you go to a picnic without assembling the sandwiches? Of course not. The same goes for vaping. If you need to change the batteries, fill up the juice or assemble anything, make sure you take care of that before you head out.
Whether you’ve sprung a leak or just torn through your tank, the next logical step is to sort out the issue. The illogical action, however, is to do so while driving.
The reason is pretty simple. If you’re refilling your juice, you’re not watching the road. A seemingly clear road could go wrong in a heartbeat. Whether it’s reckless pedestrians, debris or someone in front of you coming to a sudden stop, you can’t afford to take your eyes off the road – even for the five seconds it takes to pour the juice into your tank.
Like with a cellphone, MP3 player, GPS or other device that requires your attention, pull over on the side of the road or into a parking lot to do maintenance on the device.
Traffic Lights Don’t Count
We already know that you should stop before fiddling with your vape in any way. A red light is enough for many drivers, but it’s certainly not going to cut it for the cops. If an officer sees you doing something with an e-cigarette at a red light, stop sign or any other stationary point in the road, don’t get upset when you’re paying a whopping fine.
Watch the Nicotine
If you use nicotine, keep in mind that chain vaping can pose a problem. One of the potential side effects of excess nicotine is dizziness. Although this isn’t a life-threatening issue that requires a trip to the hospital, driving in such a state could easily change that.
Have you ever been driving and some inconsiderate person flicked their cigarette, only to have it land right on your windshield? It’s rude and annoying, to say the least.
While vapes don’t generate ash or butts, there are times when you’ll have to toss a component.
Coils are the most commonly discarded pieces. They’re the only components guaranteed – and expected – to die on you. Sometimes, this inconvenient little issue will strike while you’re trying to drive.
However, let’s assume that you do the right thing and pull over on the side of the road. You change your coil and maybe have a bottle of e-juice you just emptied. The correct course of action here is to keep that garbage in your car. Tossing a metal coil onto the road, for instance, is a much bigger risk to other drivers than a cigarette butt. The metal material could result in a flat tire, while the bottle might get picked up by an animal or child.
Besides, littering itself is illegal and just plain rude.
Keep Your Head Out of the Clouds
Many vapers love clouds, especially the massive ones caused by high VG e-liquids in sub-ohm tanks. Unfortunately, this can pose a real problem for drivers.
When you fill your car with a massive amount of cloud, it’s easy to be totally engulfed in a fog. Consequently, you won’t be able to see your windshield, causing you to drive blind. There are some steps to prevent this.
Use a Vape Pen
If it’s nicotine you need, then a vape pen is all it takes. Not only are these handy devices easy to use and portable (perfect for driving), but their cloud generation is minimal due to the low clouds of its PG based e-liquids and low wattage.
If a sub-ohm is all you have – or all you’re willing to use – then at the very least, use a juice with lower VG. While it’s not as effective at controlling clouds as high-PG, low wattage vape pens, this is better than whipping out your 80 or 90 VG brand.
Open a Window
Weather permitting, it’s always a good idea to have the driver’s side window open. Simply exhale the vapor through the side of your mouth to push it in the right direction. This’ll keep your eyes on the road.
The great thing about opening a window is that any vapor you expel in its direction will get automatically sucked out when the car is in motion. While it may not be great in cold or rainy weather, it’s arguably the most effective solution.
About the Author:
Alex Saez is a vaping enthusiast and content creator at MistHub, a top source for vapes, electronic cigarettes, mods, tanks, coils, e-juices, and accessories.