Vaping and Driving – Everything You Need To Know

We show you how to avoid some of the potential pitfalls and risks when vaping and driving.

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Vaping Whilst Driving

Intro

Whether heading off rush hour stress or keeping sane on those long boring journeys, few things are more pleasurable than vaping while driving. However this comes with some significant risks, both physical and legal. We mentioned this briefly in our etiquette guide and in this article we take a detailed look at the main concerns and how to address them.

Impaired Vision

How I Vape

This should be obvious to even the most novice vaper. Exhale vapour in front of you and for a few seconds your vision is foggy, if not completely clouded. Combine this with a glass windscreen in a moving vehicle and the dangers to yourself and those around are clear. Thankfully there a few ways of managing this.

Solutions:

  • Aim Vapour – The simple answer is to direct vapour away from your field of vision, through the corner of your mouth or nostrils. A clear view of the road is essential when driving – never exhale directly in front of you.
  • Reduce VGHigh VG juice in a sub-ohm tank produces thick billowing clouds. This is great when relaxing at home but less so when driving. A few draws on this kind of set-up can quickly fill a car with fog. Consider using high PG juice in a plus-ohm tank when driving.
  • Open Windows – When vaping, all e-liquid, even high-PG juice, produces mist with a tendency to linger around in closed spaces. An open car window helps it dissipate quickly, especially if you direct your exhale towards it. If the weather is bad an opening of a few inches is better than nothing. Opening rear and passenger windows can also help clear vapour from your vehicle quickly.

Distractions

It goes without saying that when driving your attention needs to be on the road. Take a leaf out of the Scouts handbook: Be Prepared.

  • Watch Your Nicotine Intake – Most of us have experienced dizziness from consuming too much nicotine, and in charge of a moving vehicle is the worst place for it. Use juice with lower nicotine when driving, and if you feel light-headed pull over when safe to do so.
  • Stay hydrated – Vaping can dry the throat and you don’t want to be focusing on this, or having a coughing fit on the road. Make sure to have a water bottle handy, preferably with an easy-access nozzle.
  • Don’t Drip, Squonk – One drawback of dripping is the need to regularly saturate your wick to avoid dry hits. A squonker mod incorporates a juice bottle into the mod, which you squeeze to supply juice through a bottom-fed atomiser. This means you can soak your wick with minimal disruption, and also reduces the risk of leaking. We recommend the Steam Crave Squonker as an affordable and versatile squonk mod (and Steamcrave sells their RDA now with a squonk-ready pin). Obviously a tank is optimal when driving, but a squonker is a great option for those that like to use RDAs.
  • Store Your Kit Safely – The last thing you need is to be fumbling about under your car seat while driving. Rather than have your mod rattling around in a cup-holder, invest in a bespoke foam holder for your set-up such as these from Jwraps.
  • Road Surface – Be careful when vaping if you’re driving over potholes or an uneven surface. There are few things more distracting than chipping a tooth on a drip tip!

Windscreen Build-Up

Windscreen Cleaning

After a while, you’ll notice a greasy film building up on the inside of your windscreen, particularly if you vape juice containing VG. This can heighten the brightness of the sun or lead to a foggy effect, particularly on cold days. Here’s how best to deal with it.

  • Cleaning– The simple answer to clean off this residue. But keep in mind some cleaning products are better than others. Buy a window cleaning spray that contains vinegar and use a rough washcloth to clean it up. It’s best to deal with this regularly before it becomes a problem.
  • Shaving Foam – Yes, really. Using shaving foam to clean your car windows can slow the build-up from vaping. The soap in the foam creates a protective film over the glass that keeps it from fogging. A little goes a long way so only use a small amount.

Legal Issues

Legal

At time of writing, vaping and driving is legal in most places, although this may vary between states and countries. As mentioned previously, the UK government recently passed a law banning smoking in cars containing children. Thankfully, vaping is exempt for now but it’s likely to be a growing issue in coming years. The best solution is preventative, so here’s some advice for safe legal vaping.

  • Take Precautions– Follow the advice above, and ensure your car is largely free of vapour. If your car is filled with thick fog the police have the right to stop you on safety grounds. And if the worst happens and you end up involved in an accident, the bad press could encourage legal ramifications for vaping as a whole. Drive safe.
  • Be Respectful– Most police officers are aware of vaping so the days of being detained because your set-up looks like a new-fangled bong are mostly over. However, members of the public can be less well-informed and if they report you the police are obliged to follow up. If you do get stopped be sure to stay polite and respectful. Causing trouble can only damage the vaping community’s reputation.
  • Respect Your Passengers– With the recent UK ruling in mind, avoid vaping in a vehicle containing young children. And to be polite, ask adult passengers if they mind. Good manners matter.

Conclusion

Driving while vaping has numerous risks but it’s arguably safer than smoking a cigarette due to the reduced fire risk. The key to safe driving while vaping is to reduce anything that distracts your attention from the road, so be sure to keep your windscreen clean and vehicle as clear of vapour as possible. Who knows, it might save your life – or at least a few points on your licence.

Whether heading off rush hour stress or keeping sane on those long boring journeys, few things are more pleasurable than vaping while driving. However this comes with some significant risks, both physical and legal. We mentioned this briefly in our etiquette guide and in this article we take a detailed look at the main concerns and how to address them.

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Ian Jones
Ian is a UK-based journalist, with 10+ years writing for media outlets such as Vice, MSN and the Daily Mirror. He specialises in pop culture and lifestyle journalism, focusing on vaping, food, fashion and technology. He takes frivolous things seriously so you don't have to.