When you think about whether you are allowed to vape and drive, it really comes down to the legality of it. Fortunately, for the most part it is okay to be vaping and driving, although there can be some gray area. This is because although there are no specific laws directly banning vaping and driving in the United States, it does not mean you cannot get a ticket for vaping and driving.
When it comes to driving, there are many laws geared towards keeping drivers responsible behind the wheel. Therefore, if for any reason a law enforcement officer decides you are somehow distracted or careless behind the wheel, there is ALWAYS the risk you can get a ticket. So, you need to be careful and aware if you decide to vape and drive. For example, something as simple as not opening your window and having vapor in your car could constitute an officer to pull you over for obstructing your field of vision.
Can You Still Get a Ticket for Vaping While Driving?
Yes. When it comes to getting a ticket for being distracted or careless, it is never up to your discretion on whether or not you were safe or distracted. It is always the discretion of the law enforcement officer. Due to this, even if you feel you are doing everything right, there is no 100 percent guarantee that you can vape and drive without getting a ticket. The most frequent issues drivers face with vaping and driving are:
Field of Vision Obstruction
One of the most common reasons vapers get pulled over is due to the windshield and field of view. While the law varies from state to state, every state has some form of law related to the windshield of your car. Although the laws are not specific to vaping, the most basic terminology for field of vision obstruction is anything that has the possibility of affecting your field of vision or visibility.
While the interpretation of the law can vary depending upon your location, it is possible for vapor clouds to be considered an obstruction. This is due to its ability to affect your view of the road that is ahead of you. To help avoid a ticket for obstruction of your field of vision, make sure to keep your windshield clean and clear, and open your window to let your vapor clouds out of the vehicle and to avoid visual problems.
Careless and Reckless Driving
Like cell phone use, changing the radio station, and many other activities, vaping can fall into the category or careless or reckless driving. Unlike field of vision obstruction, careless driving carries more severe penalties. Therefore, if an officer of the law spots you trying to refill your vaping device, looking for your device, or with a cloud of vapor inside your car; you could face a more severe offense of careless driving. Not to mention, depending upon the situation you could also be seen as putting the lives of others in danger. If this occurs, it could tack on an additional reckless driving penalty. To steer clear of these issues, you should always pay attention to what is going on around you, and to follow the rules of the road (ex. speed limit signs).
What Can I Do to Stay Safe While Vaping and Driving?
When it comes to vaping and driving, safety is key to a successful trip. A key to a successful trip while vaping is preparation. To avoid trouble, you should keep these helpful tips in mind:
You already know you are going to be on the road, so prepare your device prior to leaving. Make sure you have enough charge to your battery, your device is primed (cleaned out, no replacement parts need to be changed out, and the device is properly filled with the correct amount of substance), and if needed, you have a spare battery on hand.
Keeping your window open or cracked while you vape will not only ensure your vapor clouds do not obstruct your field of vision, but it will also prevent any residue from coating the inside of your windows.
·Have a drink handy. Vaping can cause you to have a dry throat or mouth. Having a drink nearby will help prevent any nasty coughing fits while you are behind the wheel.
·Only vape when you are stationary. This will help prevent you from becoming distracted with your vaping and keep your eyes on the road. Never throw your trash out the window. If you have something you need to get rid of, wait until you get to a trash can. Not only does this dirty up the environment and have the potential for getting you a ticket for littering, but depending upon what you throw out, it could also cause the potential to puncture a tire of another vehicle.
·Do not change your parts or settings while driving. Whenever you need to clean your device, refill your device, or make any type of adjustments; you should always wait until you are stopped to avoid any trouble on the road.
·Have a designated location for your device. When you are driving, it can be easy for your device to go missing due to a sharp curve or bump. To avoid this issue, always have a designated location for your device. This could be the side compartment of your door, a drink holder, or the center console of your car. Just remember, wherever you decide to place your device should be easily accessible to avoid having to reach too far and losing control of your vehicle.
·Use your common sense. A key issue when vaping and driving is to avoid becoming distracted. So, if you think something will pose an issue, it probably will.
When it comes to vaping and driving, it pretty much ties into the same category as anything else you do while you are driving. Therefore, if you are not careful, you are at risk of getting pulled over. To help avoid any unnecessary complications, always take the proper precautions, and avoid things that are more likely to cause increased risks.