Persistent road rumors have it that FMCSA has now made vaping illegal in and around commercial motor vehicles as accidents continue to cause personal injuries. Not true, but here’s what the agency did last month that has spawned the talk.
On Aug. 3, Land Line reported on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s announcement that it is issuing this safety advisory to provide notice and information to owners and operators of commercial motor vehicles concerning incidents that have occurred relating to the possession and use of battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices. Specifically, the advisory mentioned e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-cigars, e-pipes, e-hookahs, personal vaporizers, and electronic nicotine delivery systems. It was clear in explaining transportation safety risks associated with the use of these devices.
According to an October 2014 report from the U.S. Fire Administration, battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices were first patented in 2003 and have been available for sale in the United States since 2007. These devices have been rapidly growing in popularity as the number and selection of products expand. According to the report, the devices contain a liquid, an atomizer or heating element, and a battery. When the device is operated, the heating element vaporizes the liquid, which is inhaled by the user.
The use of battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices has resulted in incidents that include explosions, serious personal injuries, and fires. The explosions regularly involved the ejection of a burning battery case or other components from the device, which subsequently ignited nearby flammable or combustible materials.
According to the FMCSA, news sources place the number of explosions at over 1,502.