Vaping and Driving
By Lindsay Fox Posted March 24, 2014
It’s prudent to exercise caution in any situation with whatever you’re doing while you’re in control of a ton of metal hurtling down the road, whether it’s changing a CD or taking a sip of a drink, and vaping is no different.
One of the major benefits of e-cigs is that you can use them in confined spaces without submitting anybody sitting beside you to harmful chemicals like carbon monoxide you’d find in smoke, but it’s important to stay in control of your vehicle whenever you’re vaping and driving.
Generally speaking, taking a puff on an e-cig while you’re driving is fine, but filling tanks, changing batteries and changing cartomizers is a different matter.
- E-cigs are safer than cigarettes for driving, as long as you’re prepared.
- Vaping is fine, but changing carts, filling tanks and charging isn’t. Ensure you have sufficient charge in your battery and a new cartridge or full tank before you set off.
- If you absolutely must do something two-handed while you’re in the car, make sure you’re pulled over. Doing so at a red light or in a traffic jam opens you up to additional risk, and isn’t advised.
- Don’t throw empty cartridges out of the window – they may damage tires, be picked up by a child or eaten by a curious pet – dispose of them properly when you get the chance!
I don't see any real harm in having a vape whilst driving and I will admit to frequently doing that myself. However, if I saw someone trying to refill their tank, rebuild a coil etc whilst driving then I would be inclined to shout some obscenities at them! If you are vaping then at least your eyes are on the road and it’s still possible to have both hands on the steering wheel, but refilling the tank etc would most definitely be a major distraction and should be avoided at all times in my opinion. Just stay safe and pull over! – Scott Bonner (E-Cig-Reviews.com)
[Is there a risk] in vaping [while driving]? No. In changing a cartridge, in filling a tank, in charging a battery, in dripping, or in re-coiling your RBA … Yes. You should never do anything while driving that would be considered distracting. That, unfortunately, includes watching PBusardo videos. – Phil Busardo (TasteYourJuice.com)
Don't drip and drive. I vape my KayFun usually in the car, which is a tank. And I always crack a window, not just for safety reasons, but because in a cold car you can get a nasty vapor build up on the windows. – Nick “GrimmGreen” Green (GrimmGreen.com)
Ever since I started vaping, it's always been expressed to me to never drip and drive. I'm continued on that message throughout my time vaping. If you want to use your e-cig while you drive, I feel it's completely safe as long as the window is open where the vapor can quickly be removed. With you cloud chasers the open window is a must!
Filling your tank, dripping or changing a cartridge is frowned upon and should never be done. To be honest, it's just as bad as texting and driving. Never risk your life or others life just because you're needing a quick vape. It just isn't worth it and is better to pull over, do what you have to do and then continue on your journey. – Blake Brown (GuidetoVaping.com)
Vaping while driving is less risky than smoking while driving. As far as refilling or changing cartos, treat that like texting, don't do it unless you're safely pulled over somewhere. – Steve K (Steve K’s Vaping World)
Why E-Cigarettes Are Safer than Cigarettes for Driving
If your e-cig is charged up, filled up and ready to go, it’s safer to vape than to smoke while driving for several reasons.
There is no need to fumble around with a lighter before you get going, there is no ash to deal with while you’re smoking, and you’re considerably less likely to need to dispose of anything.
Plus, you aren’t holding a burning ember the entire time. Taking a single hand away from the wheel is unlikely to cause a problem as long as you exercise the same amount of caution you would when taking a drink or eating something while driving.
Technically speaking, being one-handed at the wheel for any reason lowers your reaction time, but since it’d be fairly difficult to find a driver who doesn’t do that there is no additional risk in using an e-cig under ideal situations.
Prepare Before You Vape and Drive
However, there are some elements of vaping while driving that are undoubtedly more dangerous than anything you’d have to do with a cigarette.
Dealing with the fiddly threading when changing cartridges or switching tanks, filling cartridges or tanks with e-liquid and putting your e-cig on to charge are all two-handed activities that attempting while in motion would be pretty damn stupid. It would be idealism to assume it didn’t happen, but there’s no doubt about the risk you’d be exposing yourself, everybody in the car with you and other motorists to. Just don’t.
There are two potential solutions, but one is vastly preferable to the other. It’s best to ensure you won’t need to do anything like that while you’re driving in the first place.
1. If your battery only has around 10 minutes worth of use left in it before you head out for a 30 minute drive, either use a spare battery instead or expect to go much of your journey with nothing to vape. Almost any vaper will have more than one battery, and if you don’t already keep the spare charged up and ready to go, this is a good reason to. Before you head out, make sure your e-cig is sufficiently charged, fill your tank or switch to a new cartridge, and vape away. An alternative would be to use a device with pass-through charging capabilities like the iTaste VV or MVP. Simply plug the USB charger into either device and connect it to any car adapter with a USB slot!
2. The other – less preferable – solution is to ensure you’re pulled over before attempting anything requiring two hands. The best advice is to treat it like texting, because it requires roughly equivalent precision and attention. Similarly to texting, however, some will undoubtedly attempt more complex vaping maintenance while they’re waiting at a red light. This isn’t advised (you don’t want to be stuck with an open bottle of juice when the light turns green, for example), but if you’ve decided to take the risk anyway, remember you’re still on the road; it’s vitally important to be alert and aware of your surroundings. Just keep your eye out for any emerging hazards, so that in the event of an unlikely catastrophe – like a car veering off the other side of the road and hurtling in your direction – or something more mundane – like the trucker behind you starting to roll forwards, unaware that you’ve missed the light turning green – you can respond before your car ends up getting hit. It probably won’t happen, but it would be foolish to assume it couldn’t.
If you need to dispose of a cartomizer, don’t throw it out of the window! They’ve been reported to puncture tires, and there are many safe places you can put it until you find a suitable trash can.
And finally – for all you drippers and RDA users out there, we know how hard it can be to drip on the go, let alone while drving. To make things a whole lot easier, you can now use a 3-D dripper, which easily pumps e-liquid from a reservoir to your wicks. However, it is only compatible with the Nemesis mod. Remember, don't drip and drive!
Vaping and driving is pretty much the same as doing anything else while you’re driving, except if you don’t prepare properly and take sensible precautions. It’s much better to ensure you won’t need to do anything fiddly when you’re driving, but if you need to, make sure you’re pulled over or – at the very least – will be stationary for an extended period of time.
Part One: Beginner E-Cigs Safety
Part Two: E-Liquid Safety
6. Basic E-Liquid Safety
7. Allergies, Conditions and E-Liquid
8. Safe Nicotine Consumption for Vapers
9. Steeping E-Liquids Safely
10. Do E-Liquids Expire?
11. E-Liquid and Tank Safety
12. DIY E-Liquid Safety
Part Three: E-Cig Mod Safety