The products and preparation for a safer journey
Like eating or drinking behind the wheel, vaping isn’t illegal, but carelessness is risky.
The law for vapour products isn’t explicit here, and can depend on the enforcement and interpretation of the laws, depending on where you drive. Laws passed to prohibit driving on the phone extend to all hand-held electronic devices (mods included) in some US states.
Although UK regulations prohibiting smoking in the car with a child don’t extend to vaping devices, there’s no telling how far regulation will go.
But there are some things we do know for sure. Here are some tips on what to do and what to get for a safe commute.
- Always come prepared
Getting everything in order before you’ve started your car means no risk of fumbling behind the wheel, no worrying about leaks and spillages, and never having reattach a charger, rebuild a coil or refill a tank.
Go out with a fully charged and filled e-cigarette, and never drip while driving, it’s not worth it. You should also place your e-cigarette somewhere you can get to without having to look away from the window or lean away from the wheel.
- Exhale with care, wipe down when done
An improperly-blown cloud could mean less visibility. The presence of a windscreen complicates matters and slows the dissipation process. Half a second can be all you have separating yourself or others from life and death, and you don’t want your sweet cloud of choice to be the last thing you see before shattering glass and twisted metal.
The first solution is to make sure you aim your vapour correctly, letting it out through the side of your mouth or down through the nostrils. If you aren’t accustomed to doing this, practice before getting behind a wheel; habits can be hard to break and your attention is divided on the road.
Keeping your window open or cracked is a must. That way you can eject a cloud in the event of careless exhalation.
Nonetheless, vaping in a car will result in a steady build-up of residue that can be hard to detect at first. This residue harshens the sun’s brightness through the windscreen on sunny days and fogs it up in cold weather. Wipe the film away regularly with a proper glass cleaner.
- Use the right liquid or adjust your gear
E-liquids that are high in vegetable glycerine (VG) produce larger and thicker clouds than those with propylene glycerol (PG). Consider using a PG-heavy alternative while driving; this will also be easier on your device if you use a clearomiser tank. The thicker consistency of VG-heavy liquid also makes them a prone to congealment in cold temperatures, which has a negative effect on wicking. Never leave VG-heavy liquid behind in your car on a cold day. If you have, don’t vape it while driving.
Leaning more towards PG may also mean not using a sub-ohm tank. The sub-ohm’s higher wattage, purer flavour and massive vapour production makes it a friend to cloudchasers, but harder to abide by our safety tips. A plus-ohm tank will vaporise your liquid at a much slower rate, resulting in a smaller cloud. Aside from unobstructed vision, you also won’t need to recharge your battery or replace liquid as often. Vape a PG-heavy juice in a plus-ohm tank and you can drive with clear vision.
- Customise your car
Some devices, especially ones that use clearomisers and sub-ohm tanks weren’t designed to be placed horizontally on a surface and juice will leak through the air vents as a result. Try placing cylindrical devices in your coat pocket or slipping them snugly between two other objects.
Even the most modern cars don’t come with pre-fitted holders and other accessories to make life easier for vapers. If you don’t feel like altering your clip-on phone holder or spare sat-nav harness, make sure you get your hands on proper fittings as soon as possible. If you vape in the USA, check up on your local driving laws; some states forbid dashboard and windscreen mounts.
Some companies sell malleable foam vape stands that slot right into your cup holder and adapt to the shape of your device. There are no one-size-fits-all holders, so figure out the measurements before buying anything.
And these don’t just extend to keeping your e-cigarette steady. You can also keep the battery alive with a USB. For example, the Innokin Itaste DRV kit plugs right into the power supply for your car’s cigarette lighter. Hopefully with time, car manufactures will adapt to the growing use of vapour products and the changing face of recreational smoking. Until that happens, keep these tips in mind.
Drive safe, and happy vaping.