Just Can’t Wait to Get on the Wet Road Again


Why can’t Las Vegans drive in the rain?

Given an annual average of 22 rainy days (versus 294 sunny days), Las Vegas is not the place to practice your wet-weather commute. That lack of experience translates to not just poor rainy-day driving, but also exposes weaknesses in vehicle maintenance (old tires that grip fine in dry conditions turn to skates when wet).

Making matters worse is our city’s sparse four inches of annual rainfall. Our blacktops build up layers of automotive excrement: errant lubricants, rubber particulates and more. When mixed with a sprinkle, the roads get scary slippery, scary fast.

Excuses aside, I do feel your pain. A couple of weeks ago, I found myself behind a car toddling along Charleston Boulevard doing 18 mph, all by his lonesome in the middle lane. Every few seconds, the driver would abruptly tap the brakes, just for good measure. It was raining, after all! Meanwhile, some badass in a 4×4 blasted by in the right-hand “river” lane, covering us all with a wave. Those kinds of behaviors have less to do with experience than attitude, and our drivers, most of whom were “trained” elsewhere, possess plenty of attitude.

All that said, if you think it’s bad now, you should have tried driving here 20 years ago, when every local road flooded, not just half of them.

I miss the days when every Nevadan had the same license plate. What’s with all the crazy plates?

Way back when (pre-1980s), all we had were the blue-and-whites. The first letter even indicated your county. How quaint! Plate spotters now see examples of 32 (and counting) “specialty plates,” including those announcing loyalties to UNLV or UNR (no, I won’t call it “Nevada”), or indicating support of various charitable endeavors. In fact, all specialty plates must have a charitable component. The 32nd plate to be approved? A “V&T” (Virginia and Truckee Railroad) version helping the Northern Nevada Railway Association. All these plates stand in addition to the standard-issue Nevada plate, various classic car plates and the reissued original blue and whites. That’s what happens when you mix car culture with a streak of independence and a dash of fundraising.

Questions? AskaNative@VegasSeven.com.