12 Rules for Driving in Las Vegas
Every big city in America has its own peculiar set of rules for driving. Here are my rules for Las Vegas.
In Los Angeles — make sure each drive begins with a full tank of gas. You might need it. Sitting in traffic for hours with the engine idling away is a part of daily life.
In Philadephia — always keep one hand on the steering wheel, while maintaining the other hand in a locked position with the middle finger extended, fully prepared to engage any violators.
In Chicago — get bulletproof windows.
In Dallas — make sure your collision insurance is up-to-date.
In Miami-Ft. Lauderdale — prepare for a constant game of dodgeball, since half the population is over 85 and the rest are nuts.
In New York — don’t drive.
Las Vegas can be a really strange place, especially when it comes to driving.
Our auto insurance rates are among the highest in the nation. Driving on freeways here can be like racing in the Daytona 500. Everything is a competition. Cutting off someone is traffic is personal and demands revenge. Other cities with heavy traffic slow down when it’s bumper to bumper. In Las Vegas, we hit the gas. Flashing neon lights up and down the casino strip is a particularly bad influence on drivers; turn signals are used merely for ornamentation. When it rains, which is almost never, forget about it. You might as well pack up and leave town. When the roads are slick, everyone drives faster. It’s madness.
We do love to gamble. Especially behind the wheel.
For tourists who rent a car, local residents, or god forbid pedestrians and cyclists (how are you not in a coma?), what follows are some helpful hints enabling you to survive the unique Las Vegas driving experience.
A Dozen Rules for Driving in Las Vegas:
Rule #1: There are no rules.
That’s right. There are no rules for driving in Las Vegas. Well at least, no one pays attention to them. So, neither should you. Ignore traffic laws relating to speed limits, school zones, and areas under construction (which basically applies to every expressway in the city). Do whatever you want.
Rule#2: Keep up with the flow of traffic.
If there’s a speed limit posted, add 20 mph to it. That’s the real speed limit. The 20 mph “over” rule especially applies to delivery trucks and city buses, which all drive batshit crazy. If you don’t drive at the common speed limit, you might get run off the road. So, keep up with the flow of traffic. Note: In Sun City Summerlin, which is a sprawling “over 55” community, reverse everything written above. Subtract 20 mph from the posted speed limits. Better yet, buy a golf cart.
Rule #3: It’s always rush hour.
In Las Vegas, there are no clocks in casinos. Moreover, there are no clocks on the roadways. Normal times of day don’t apply here. 9 to 5 isn’t the workday. It’s the odds on a craps table. This is a 24-hour city where anyone can order a steak, smoke a bowl, shoot up, or down half a dozen martinis — day and night. You might think it’s safe to drive the streets at 10 am. Not true. The morning drive means the graveyard shift got off work and already had three hours to party. Las Vegas’s rush hour is midnight until 11:59 at night.
Rule #4: Never brake on yellow.
Yellow traffic lights aren’t what they mean in other cities. Yellow does not mean — caution or slow down. In Las Vegas, yellow means — pound the gas pedal. Braking on yellow in this city can get you rear-ended, assaulted, or perhaps even shot.
Rule #5: A green light does not mean “go.”
Green lights at traffic intersections do not mean “go.” In Las Vegas, a green light means “proceed with extreme caution.” When stopped at a traffic light, upon seeing evidence of a green light, wait at least five full seconds before accelerating. Allow several vehicles caught in cross-traffic to race through the intersection as the light changes from yellow to red. Otherwise, you’ll probably get sideswiped by an uninsured driver with expired out-of-state plates.
Rule #6: Handicapped parking spaces are for handicappers.
All the casinos have plenty of handicapped parking spaces. Most of them are empty. This is most convenient for sports gamblers caught in a time crunch. Why risk missing the tip-off when a handicapped parking space is just a few steps away from the race and sportsbook betting window, and the game starts in 3 minutes? The chances of a disabled person needing the space are small, anyway. In Las Vegas, handicapped parking applies to both “the handicapped” and “handicappers.”
Rule #7: What to do if your car breaks down.
If your vehicle breaks down for any reason, remove it from the roadway, immediately. Otherwise, a car thief will come along and remove it for you. Also — don’t even think of changing a flat tire on your own. You will be run over and end up in a coma.
Rule #8: Learn the local language.
In Las Vegas, the three most common ways to communicate are as follows —  English,  Spanish, and  Texting While Driving. If exceeding 80 mph, the ten-second rule on replying to phone text messages does not apply. Do not text while driving more than 25 mph above the speed limit. That’s what school zones are for.
Rule #9: Learn how to properly use the horn.
Sometimes, honking the car horn may be necessary when driving in Las Vegas traffic. However, one must also practice the proper discretion. So, it’s best to follow the local customs. Your car horn has a clear purpose and it is to be used — as a weapon.
Rule #10: Always be prepared for the danger of a traffic stop.
Take extra special care when being pulled over by the police during a traffic stop. Making a mistake can be very costly. Here’s some advice: A personal flask is much easier to hide under the front seat than either a beer can or a beer bottle, especially if the beverage is full. No one wants to spill good liquor just because a tail light is out and you get pulled over. So, prepare accordingly.
Rule #11: Weaponize your car stereo sound speakers.
Young people in Las Vegas enjoy blasting their shitty music. Worse, they make sure everyone else can hear it. At busy intersections with extra-long red lights, be prepared for rap lyrics loud enough to sound like you’re chained next to the speakers at a DMX concert. The optimal countermeasure to this auditory pollution is establishing a good defense, a.k.a. “amping up,” sort of like how nations stockpile nukes. When confronted with booming rap music at a traffic light, put on your favorite music, roll down the car windows, crank up the volume, and blast the fuck away.
Rule #12: Learn what the road signs really mean.
In Las Vegas, traffic signs are meant as suggestions. Sort of like your waiter reciting the nightly dinner specials. No one pays attention. Everyone will do their own thing. Here’s the real road sign menu, with descriptions:
STOP = Slow down.
YIELD = Accelerate to beat other cars into the traffic circle.
DO NOT ENTER = Be sure no one is approaching, then proceed.
NO PARKING = Free parking.
DUCK CROSSING = 1 duck – 1 point; 2 ducks – 2 points; 3 ducks – 3 points; 4 ducks – we don’t believe it….post a video on YouTube.
ROAD WORK AHEAD = Speed up now to make up for the lost time.
MERGING TRAFFIC = Ride the tail of the car in front so no one can cut in.
SCHOOL ZONE = Check your text messages.
Finally, thinking of renting a car? Here’s a one-word suggestion, instead: Uber.
Hope you enjoyed the list.
Now, drive safe!