The coronavirus has impacted virtually everyone’s lives, everywhere in the U.S. Even Las Vegas, one of the world’s top tourist destinations, felt the impact as tourism declined some 50% in 2020 due to lockdowns, restrictions, and reduced travel. In March, when the city’s nonessential businesses were forced to close to help curb the spread, it was the first time since John F. Kennedy’s funeral in 1963 the Strip closed its doors.
Restrictions remain in place today:
- Gaming operations are restricted to no more than 25% occupancy.
- Restaurants and bars within gaming establishments are also limited to 25% capacity.
- Seating at bars or countertops must continue to be socially distanced.
- Masks are required when not eating or drinking.
Tourism is just now starting to creep back up a bit. October 2020 saw 1.85 million tourists, up from September, however, well behind the prior year. November was a bit slower, with only 1.51 visitors. Still, with a population of 650,000 in Las Vegas and nearly 2.7 million in the metro area, that equates to a significant number of added vehicles on the road. All that traffic coupled with the area’s population growth contributes to another growing issue -- the need for windshield replacements.
This article will detail how the Las Vegas area population continues to expand, even during COVID, and how it contributes along with other unique factors to the growing auto glass repair and replacement industry.
Population Growth and Crowding Contribute to Auto Glass Mayhem
Americans are on the move during the coronavirus pandemic; millions have fled the big cities in droves for places such as Austin, Texas, Arizona, Idaho, and Las Vegas. After Sacramento and Phoenix, Las Vegas was the most popular city for relocations. Work from home is here to stay, and many are seeking a larger space, better climate, and more amenities.
With its master-planned communities, exceptional climate, and close-by attractions such as Red Rock Canyon, Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, and Lake Mead, Las Vegas has become very desirable. The local university, UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas),documented Las Vegas as one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, population growth in Las Vegas.
More people on an already congested Las Vegas highway system are a recipe for mayhem. Traffic in Vegas can be horrific, day or night. Driving through the infamous Spaghetti Bowl, a 3.7-mile stretch of highway where I-15 meets the I-95, is like navigating a labyrinth, with its 300,000 vehicles each day and 25,000 lane changes each hour.
The Las Vegas Climate Contributing to Cracked Windshields
Located in the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas enjoys a subtropical climate -- great in the winter when mid-day temperatures are moderate, perfect for a hike or round of golf. However, the summers can be brutally hot with daytime temperatures ranging from 100° to 110°, or more. The combination of heat and the sun, 294 sunny days throughout the year, wreak havoc on windshields. When your vehicle is exposed to extreme temperatures and sits for an extended period in the sun, even a tiny chip can spread and splinter. Temperature changes, such as when you crank up the AC to offset the heat, are another stressor on your windshield – we suggest you cool your car gradually during the summer months.
With only a bit over 4 inches of rain per year, debris on the roadways tends to stay in place as there is little rain to wash it away. The combination of debris and all those lane changes on the Spaghetti Bowl is a significant contributor to auto glass breakage.
Big Rigs on Las Vegas Highways – Accidents and Cracked Windshields
Las Vegas’ major highways, I-15, US 95, and US 93, see more than their fair share of commercial truck traffic. The roads between Clark County and San Bernardino County in California lead the nation in highway traffic fatalities, with large trucks contributing to many fatal and non-fatal injury accidents.
Commercial drivers are professionals. Many of the accidents they’re involved in result from poor judgment by passenger vehicle drivers who tailgate, pass on the right or linger in the truck driver’s blind spot. Tailgating has its own brand of punishment for the passenger vehicle, cracked windshields. When you encounter a big rig on the road, be patient, be courteous, and if you intend to pass, do so quickly and safely.
Road Construction – Project Neon Comes to an End
The most extensive public works project in Nevada state history, Project NEON is finally complete. The project consisted of 63 lane miles of new and repaved roadway connections. However, road construction in Las Vegas, subsidized by federal dollars annually, is ongoing, resulting in more traffic, longer delays, and more construction debris on the roads -debris thrown up by those big rigs and other passenger vehicles as they change lanes. The result – chipped and cracked windshields.
What to do in Las Vegas if Your Windshield is Cracked or Chipped
So, you’re driving on the Spaghetti Bowl one Monday morning, and as the vehicle in front of you changes lanes, you hear a sickening crack. Sure enough, nature and the driver in front of you have conspired to cause a chip or crack in your windshield. What to do? Is it safe to drive with a cracked windshield? Is it legal? Can I be ticketed?
Like many states, Nevada law doesn’t specifically address cracked windshields Las Vegas windshield laws and equipment requirements. It merely requires that there is no obstruction to the driver’s view of the road. This becomes a matter of opinion, a judgment call if you will. Should local law enforcement deem your cracked windshield is obstructing your view,and you are violating this ambiguous law, you may be subject to fines.
As soon as you see a chip or crack appear in your windshield, you’ll want to get it fixed immediately, particularly in the hot Las Vegas summer months. If you do so quickly enough, in some instances, it may be repairable without having to replace the entire windshield. Whether you are a native or just visiting Las Vegas, we suggest you contact an professional company like Suntec Auto Glass Replacement of Las Vegas, NV. Their mobile team can meet you anywhere that is convenient throughout the city and that has shade or a garage to complete the service.
Experienced auto glass companies, like Suntec, can determine the correct glass part, installation procedures and bring all necessary items to complete the install while staying socially distanced.
While there’s no stop in the consistent flow of new residents to Las Vegas, local auto glass companies will continue to ramp up operations and availability to ensure the demand of windshield replacements is met quickly and efficiently.