The use of vapes has recently gained popularity as a healthier alternative to smoking.
However, many people are still unaware of the laws around vaping. It makes sense given that the US has so many states, each with its own set of cannabis legislation.
In order to clarify things for you, in this article we will discuss the US laws regarding vaping while driving.
We will also talk about some guidelines and best practices that will hopefully prevent you from getting into trouble.
Can You Vape and Drive?
You are not currently prohibited from vaping while driving, however, you may be subject to various traffic regulations, including the one concerning clouded windshields.
Be aware that laws and regulations are constantly changing, so keep your eyes peeled for updates before vaping on the road.
As you well know, these devices create thick smoke impairing your vision, and if caught, a user can be issued a citation for careless driving.
Commonly, people will get a citation for talking on a cell phone while driving, but police can penalize drivers by interpreting vape devices as electronic devices.
Police officers also consider changing cartridges while driving as an offense under the same category.
Basically, they see it as an activity that can reduce your capacity for driving.
While this is a rare occurrence, it is still something you should be aware of.
Drivers who vape will usually get citations according to reckless driving laws and be issued a fine similar to that issued for speeding or driving under the influence.
Vaping With Children In The Car
Similar to smoking laws, vaping while driving with children in the car is also punishable by law and could result in a fine. Violations are subject to a fine of up to $100.
As a rule of thumb consider most smoking bans in the United States to include the prohibition of vaping.
For example, if you drive in California, you won't be able to smoke or vape with children present. The federal law places cannabis in the same category astobacco.
Keep in mind that there are some discrepancies between state and federal laws, but you can still get a citation either way.
Regardless, we suggest that you avoid smoking any product in the presence of children, whether you get penalized or not.
Guidelines For Vaping While Driving
If you want to be absolutely sure that you won’t receive a citation, the best thing you can do is pull over at a gas stop and enjoy your vape outside your car.
Although vaping might be relaxing, you need to treat it as any other distraction while driving.
Drip-style devices are especially troublesome. They require constant refilling, and a lot of drivers tend to put in new product while driving.
This is a huge distraction and you should never refill while driving just like you wouldn’t text and drive.
If you must vape while driving, it's best to use a cartridge or pod-style device. With these devices, you don't have to refill them as often which mitigates some risk.
To point out the obvious, if you wish to increase visibility while vaping and driving, you can simply roll down the window.
Though certain vaping products have been banned by federal and state lawmakers, the same laws and insurance regulations still apply to vaping as they do to tobacco use. That includes vaping while driving.
Vaping behind the wheel is no more illegal than smoking a cigarette under U.S. law. Furthermore, insurers are no more likely to deny coverage to vape users than to other smokers.
Nevertheless, there are laws that may affect how motorists use vaping and other tobacco products. Because of this, drivers and vaping advocates need to use common sense when vaping while on the road.