You’re driving home after a long day at work and suddenly feel the urge to smoke. You remember that you’re trying to quit smoking, so you take out an e-cigarette. It then hits you that you are unclear about the laws surrounding vaping and driving. Is it illegal? Can one vape with children in the car? Frustrated, you return your electronic cigarette to its original spot and promised yourself that you will find out more about vaping and driving. Here’s what you need to know.
There are clear laws in all states that cover the visibility and condition of automobile windshields. The laws include safety standards and other factors such as the condition of one’s wipers. Essentially, anything that can obstruct one’s view is considered a violation. In Alabama, for instance, allowing an opaque material to cover the windshield is illegal. In Wisconsin, no item can be suspended between the windshield and the driver if it obscures his or her vision.
Vaping with Children in the Car
There are states that have clear legal provisions about vaping with children in the car. California is one such state. The state includes e-cigarettes in the category of tobacco products. Vaping or smoking with children in the car can get you booked, fined or jailed in California. Common sense and logic dictate that one should not vape with children in the car.
Vaping Leads to Reckless or Careless Driving
Reckless driving is the act of driving with a wanton disregard for the rules of the road and the safety of passengers and pedestrians. Careless driving is considered to be more serious that texting while driving. The fines for this type of driving can be severe. In addition, you may get penalized by a state’s driver license point system. You should know that both careless driving and reckless driving have discretionary criteria that could potentially become applicable to driving and vaping under extreme circumstances. For example, a driver could be charged with reckless driving if he or she is vaping and driving at an excessive speed.
Adjusting Your Vaping Device
You may want to refill the vape tank, swap batteries, adjust the power, or drip juice on your coils. Doing all these things while you are driving may get you a careless driving charge. You should never do anything that causes distractions. Ideally, you should only vape when your vehicle is stationary. So, safely pull over or get off the road at a suitable location, perform the necessary adjustments, vape, and continue on your journey. You should avoid throwing empty juice bottles or used coils out of the vehicle as well. If you are using a sub ohm mod, it is recommended that you blow vapor out of an open window.
Be aware that the abovementioned driving and vaping guidelines are not a guarantee that you can avoid getting a ticket. You should do your part to vape responsibly, i.e. always be in full control of the vehicle and aware of the laws in your area.