Is it illegal to vape and drive? When you consider the widespread laws against using electronic devices – like your cellphone – while driving, it’s understandable that plenty of vapers have this question. In fact, you may have even seen headlines or social media stories claiming that vaping and driving is against the law. So, what’s a vaper to do?
Here at DIRECTVAPOR, it goes without saying that we consider ourselves to be serious vaping enthusiasts. But of course, we want to help our fellow vapers stay within safe and legal limits when it comes to enjoying a few puffs. So, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about vaping while driving, including laws, basic safety, and more.
Is it Legal to Vape and Drive?
Without a doubt, one of the most common questions we hear about vaping on the go is: can you vape and drive?
The basic answer is yes; you can legally vape while driving. There are no laws specifically regulating vaping and driving at the same time.
However, there is one key caveat: whether you’re vaping or not, you are always subject to careless driving laws. This means that if a police officer or judge determines that the way you were vaping qualifies you as a careless or distracted driver, then you can potentially be charged.
So, the question isn’t necessarily “are you allowed to vape and drive?” Rather, it boils down to this: can you safely vape while driving?
Laws for Vaping and Driving
Now, you know that there are no laws specifically outlawing vaping while driving. But in every state, laws govern what it means to operate a motor vehicle safely. In addition, certain states have regulations about who can be in the car with you while you’re vaping.
We recommend familiarizing yourself with the basic traffic laws in your state, so you can be sure that you’re following all required regulations. To help you get started, we’re covering some of the laws that can affect how you vape and drive.
Obstructed Windshield Laws
Have you ever tried to drive with a huge crack in your windshield that ran directly across your field of vision? It’s not exactly easy, and it definitely isn’t safe.
Every state has laws regarding windshield visibility, which makes sense. If you can’t see, you certainly can’t drive safely. For example, in Alabama, there can’t be any non-transparent material on the windshield or side/rear windows. In Wisconsin, nothing can be hanging between the driver and the windshield.
What does this have to do with vaping?
If you’re in the middle of an intense cloud-chasing session, surrounded by that thick, fluffy vapor we love so much, you could end up in trouble. It could be argued that the vapor is obscuring your vision. A police officer is expected to make a judgment call when it comes to determining the severity of an obstruction, so you could receive a citation. While there are no official reports of this happening, that certainly doesn’t make it impossible.
Vaping With Kids in the Car
In several states, secondhand smoke laws also apply to vaping. This means that depending on where you live, you can be ticketed and fined for vaping with a child in the car.
For example, California law explicitly states that vaping in a car with children is illegal. In other states, the language of the law is more general, simply outlawing “smoking” with kids in the car. But because many states include vaping under the umbrella of smoking (as does federal law), it’s something you should avoid – plus, common sense tells us that vaping in an enclosed environment with children isn’t a good idea.
Careless driving is a traffic offense that comes with fines, citations, and even driver’s license points in certain states. In contrast, reckless driving is considered the “next level,” and is usually applied to situations that involve excessive speeding, street racing, and the like.
So, can you be charged with careless driving for vaping? Well, it’s possible.
Let’s say you’re already breaking a traffic law; for example, you’re driving above the legal speed limit. If a police officer pulls you over for speeding, then sees that your car is clouded with vapor, they could very well tack on a careless driving charge. Or, if you’re involved in a car accident, and it’s found that you were reaching for your vape when it happened, you can be found at fault.
There are many different activities that, when done at the same time as driving, can be considered careless:
- Fumbling with a vape’s settings
- Refilling a device with e-liquid
- Reaching under the seat for a vape or e-liquid bottle
- Looking in a purse or backpack for a vape
Above all, drivers are expected to be in full control of their vehicles. So, if operating your vape device compromises this, you should probably rethink your approach.
Can You Get a Ticket for Vaping and Driving?
Here’s what it boils down to; there’s considerable confusion in the language of traffic laws and how they may or may not relate to vaping.
No laws target vaping and driving specifically; however, there are laws that aim to penalize distracted driving. This means that if your vaping is affecting your driving, law enforcement may apply distracted driving laws to your case.
There is little evidence to suggest that vaping and driving is a major legal risk. So long as you’re safely operating your vehicle, you will likely be in the clear. At this time, police officers are not generally actively seeking out vapers – but if you catch their eye for another legitimate reason, there could be consequences.
Guidelines for Vaping While Driving
A few common sense guidelines can help you avoid problems while vaping and driving. Although you probably already follow these, having a reminder is always useful.
- Make sure that vapor clouds are not obscuring your view of the road.
- Avoid cloud chasing in your (moving) vehicle when the windows are closed.
- Ideally, blow vapor out of your open window.
- Whenever possible, wait to vape until the vehicle is stopped.
- Never vape with children in the car.
- Pull over if you need to swap batteries, refill your tank, drip juice on coils, or adjust settings.
- Don’t toss empty vape juice bottles or used coils out the window.
Of course, we can’t guarantee you’ll never get a ticket – even if you follow these guidelines. It is highly unlikely but not an impossibility.
Make Your Vape Experience Enjoyable with DIRECTVAPOR
Vaping responsibly is always a good idea, especially while you’re driving. And if you ask us, you also have a certain obligation to set yourself up for a great vape experience – why sell yourself short with low-quality products and knockoff vapes?
At DIRECTVAPOR, you can stock up on all the vaping essentials that make vaping easier and more fun. Whether you need a ton of new e-juice flavors, a high-end mod, or just some basic accessories, we have you covered. We have a reputation for being a trusted retailer with the best prices in the business, so you can be confident that you won’t be disappointed.
Find your favorite vape products when you shop DIRECTVAPOR today!