The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration handed down a safety warning this morning regarding the possession and use of battery powered smoking devices in or around commercial vehicles.
Warning Includes E-Cigs, Vaporizers, E-Hookahs
FMCSA’s warning covers the following smoking devices: e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e- cigars, e-pipes, e-hookahs, personal vaporizers, and electronic nicotine delivery systems.
The safety warning was issued because of a number of incidents during which the devices caught fire or exploded, causing personal injury. The FMCSA report says that there have been at least 25 fire or explosion incidents caused by smoking devices since 2009, and they suspect that there may be as many as 150. The report did not link any of these incidents to commercial vehicles.
E-Cig Explosion Resulted In Truck Crash In January
There has been at least one incident in which an e-cigarette explosion caused a truck to crash. It happened on I-65 near Austin, Indiana on January 5, 2016. An e-cigarette reportedly exploded in a truck driver’s face, causing him to crash off the interstate. He suffered burns to the face and blood loss during the incident. No other injuries were reported.
The FMCSA warns of the potential for highway danger if a battery powered smoking device were to catch fire and explode in a truck.
Safety Warning Does Not Ban Use Of E-Cigs In Trucks
The warning is not a ban on the use of battery powered smoking devices, but rather a call to be “cognizant of the risks associated with these devices and exercise good judgment and appropriate discretion in their possession, storage, charging or use on, around or while operating a CMV, and adhere to the smoking prohibitions on, near or when loading and unloading a motor vehicle transporting hazardous materials in accordance with 49 CFR 177.834(c) and 397.13.”
You can read the warning in full in the document below.
Jackson-ISP Versailles troopers investigating semi off the road I-65 NB 35.5 MM. Right lane blocked for cleanup. pic.twitter.com/XyeeMH9mCA
— Sgt. Stephen Wheeles (@ISPVersailles) January 5, 2016