As the latest smoking craze, it’s common to see people blowing out thick clouds of vapour when behind the wheel. But does vaping impair driving, is it illegal to smoke in the car, and should we all be taking a little more care? Let’s dig deeper into vaping and driving laws.
Rules can change. But at the moment, it’s not illegal to smoke or vape in the car, so long as you’re not travelling with children. The police aren’t going to chase you for puffing away at a traffic light or gliding down the motorway. But does that mean it’s safe to carry on? Probably not, unless you take specific measures to vape responsibly while driving.
The problem with vaping is that it’s a huge distraction. Clouds of smoke can affect your view of the road ahead and, if this leads to a crash, you could find yourself charged by the police for committing a dangerous act and be heavily prosecuted. Indeed, this situation could result in a road ban, points on your licence, or a fine of up to £2,500. Not only is the financial penalty significant, but not being able to drive for a set period of time could be seriously detrimental to your daily life and business.
Case study: Imagine you’re a commercial driver. You make a living being out on the road every single day. But then vaping causes an on-road accident. You’re charged with dangerous driving due to thick vape restricting your vision and banned from getting behind the wheel for months, if not years. What next? Well as you can see, this is a life changing event and one that will certainly take its toll emotionally. What’s more, if you cause a fatality due to vaping, you’re going to have to carry that emotional burden and upset with you for the rest of your life. The penalty will also be more severe.
Whether you’re driving vans on finance regularly and having a little vape between jobs or pottering along in your little urban compact when the need to vape calls, think twice. Yes, there are no rules forbidding this action, but anything that takes your concentration away from the road can be dangerous and potentially fatal. So, as well as avoiding vaping – and a whopping big fine should an incident occur – why not try safer driving practices in general? This could mean not eating or driving while on-the-go and avoiding changing the radio unless you’re at a standstill with the handbrake on.
And if you really need to vape, make sure the windows are fully open and blow the vapour directly out while maintaining full control of your vehicle.
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