Driving in a Storm: drivers warned to not commit common mistake or risk £1,000 and penalty points

Dan Marchant, director of Vape Club, urges safety precautions to stop vapers from impairing their visibility on the road

According to recent data by Forbes, approximately 1 in 10 (11%)* of the UK population have chosen to ‘give up smoking’ as their New Year’s resolution for 2024, equating to approximately 7,451,048 people across the country.

Vaping products are the most popular smoking cessation tools used by those trying to quit, according to government data**. Over a quarter (27.2%) of former smokers used vaping devices as a quit-smoking tool.

As temperatures continue to drop and more snow is forecast to hit across the UK, many motorists will drive with their windows up and heating on. And whilst vapour dissipates faster than tobacco smoke, those vaping behind the wheel may not realise that this could be impairing their visibility, resulting in a hefty fine.

With this in mind, Dan Marchant, director of Vape Club, urges drivers to make considerations this winter for current vapers and those making the switch.

Is vaping while driving against the law?

No, it is not against the law to vape while driving. What the law categorically states is that anyone distracted when driving or unable to clearly see the road ahead could be committing an offence under Section 41D of the Road Traffic Act.

This means that the same laws that could see drivers fined for windscreens obscured by snow during the winter can also be applied to those who find their view obstructed by vapour or who are distracted by their vape. Drivers found to breach these laws could face a fine of up to £1000.

Tips for driving safely during the winter if you’re vaping

It’s important to be mature and sensible when you’re behind the wheel. Vaping adds an extra layer of responsibility, which needs to be acknowledged. Here are some tips.

  1. Pick a Mouth To Lung vape: If vapour production is a cause for concern, it’s worth looking into getting a kit that creates a small amount of vapour with each inhale: an MTL (Mouth To Lung) vape kit is the standout choice. Alongside reduced vapour production, they’re also less likely to feature buttons and menu screens, cutting out the risk of distraction.

  1. Open the windows: If there’s still a risk of excess vapour production, a quick fix would be to open your windows. This might not seem like an attractive proposition in the colder months, but it could mean the difference between a fine and an uninterrupted journey.

  1. Keep your vape on hand: Taking your eyes off the road to look for your missing vape is a clear distraction, so always make sure that it’s within arm’s reach and ready to go.

  1. Take a break: It’s well-documented that taking a break on long trips is a good way to stay alert, while you’re stretching your legs take a couple of minutes to have a vape too. Only ever take breaks in designated rest areas.

Sergeant Carl Knapp, a member of the Sussex Road Policing Unit, states:

“The smoke caused by vapes are a distraction and the consequences of them can be dire, all it takes is a moment to become distracted and potentially cause a crash and even worse, a fatality. I strongly advise people to pay 100 per cent attention to the roads when driving as anything that takes that attention away has the potential of severe consequences.”