Driving to Indiana: Tips, Tricks, and Laws

Before driving to Indiana, you should study the state’s roads and driving laws.
Written by Nathan Porceng
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
With beautifully maintained roads, charming communities, and enchanting natural beauty, driving through
is an experience unlike any other.
Unless you’re unfortunate enough to get caught in one of Indiana’s brutal winter snowstorms, driving in the Hoosier State is an absolute breeze. Just be sure you plan your route ahead of time, and study the state’s driving laws and road conditions.
Read on for tips, tricks, and inside scoops for navigating one of the nation’s most pleasant states.
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The best routes for driving to Indiana

Whether you’re coming to the Hoosier State from Texas or California, we’ll help you find a fantastic route for your trip. Here are some popular ones:
  • San Francisco—South Bend (33 hours): Explore Notre Dame’s gorgeous campus and catch a Fighting Irish football game in this fun, midsized city.
  • Dallas—Indianapolis (14 hours): Mad about cars? Take a road trip to catch the Indy 500 in person!
  • Boston—French Lick (16 hours): Follow Larry Bird’s footsteps in reverse and explore this charming, family-friendly community.
  • Miami—Bloomington: (18 hours): From Monroe Lake to the hallowed halls of Indiana University, you’ll feel like a true Hoosier in Bloomington. 

How good are Indiana’s roads?

Indiana’s roads are considered to be some of the best in the nation. The Indiana Toll Road in particular is extraordinarily well-maintained. 
Indiana’s bridges, airports, and railways also receive high marks for quality, making the state a traveler’s dream!

Does Indiana have toll roads?

Yes. The Indiana Toll Road, I-90, cuts across 157 miles along the northern stretch of the state from Ohio to Illinois. Opting for electronic toll collection with
allows you to bypass long toll booth waiting lines. 
For budget-conscious travelers, Indiana maintains an
online toll calculator
, allowing you to plan your route to the penny!

How bad is Indiana traffic?

Even in Indianapolis, by far the state’s most populous city, traffic in Indiana is pretty light. Barring a major car accident or inclement weather, your trip through the Hoosier State should be efficient and stress-free.
Of course, you may make your drive even smoother by avoiding rush hour in urban areas! Try to drive through the major cities before 6 am or after 7 pm, when there are fewer drivers on the road.
Key Takeaway: Indiana has fairly nice roads. Avoid rush hour and proceed cautiously during inclement weather, and you should have an enjoyable drive through the Hoosier State.

What are Indiana’s speeding laws?

There are two types of speed limits in Indiana: basic speed limits and absolute speed limits. Let’s explore them real quick, along with the fines you’ll face if you violate them.
  • Basic speed limits: Always drive at a safe speed. In inclement weather or heavy traffic, that may mean driving under the posted speed limit in order to stay in control and avoid causing an accident. 
  • Absolute speed limits: Don’t drive faster than the posted speed. If the sign says 45 mph, you’re speeding if you go faster than 45 mph!

Fines for speeding in Indiana

In Indiana, fines for
speeding tickets
vary depending on the severity of your offense and the county in which it occurs. Minor infractions may net you a ticket of anywhere from $100 to $200. Speeding in a work zone may cost you as much as $1,000.
Speeding tickets won’t just cost you in fines. They will also add
to your
driving record
and raise your insurance rate. If you accumulate 20 points in 24 months, your
Indiana driver’s license
will be
. Indiana assigns the following point values for speeding offenses:
  • 1 to 15 mph over the limit: 2 points
  • 16 to 25 mph over the limit: 4 points
  • 26 mph or more over the limit: 6 points

What are Indiana’s alcohol laws?

Indiana Drivers may not operate motor vehicles if they have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more, with any amount of a schedule I or II controlled substance (i.e. marijuana or cocaine) in their system, or while actually intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
Drivers under 21 may not operate motor vehicles with a BAC of 0.02% or higher.
It is also against Indiana law to drive with an
open container
of alcohol in your car. Alcoholic beverages with broken seals must be transported in a locked, fixed compartment like a trunk or center console. If your car lacks such a compartment, the open container may be placed behind the last upright seat or in an area not typically occupied by people.
Alcohol violations—
especially OWIs
—can lead to severe fines, your license being suspended, or even jail time, not to mention the physical and emotional damage you may cause others and yourself. If you’re driving in Indiana, drive safely and drive sober.
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Can you use headphones while driving in Indiana?

In Indiana, you may drive while using any device that facilitates hands-free communication, including headphones, earpieces, and Bluetooth technology. However, just because you can wear headphones while driving doesn’t mean you should. Headphones may reduce your situational awareness and increase your likelihood of causing an accident
For maximum safety, keep your headphones stowed and your focus on the road.

What are some of Indiana’s best road trips?

From charming little towns to major cities, farmland to lakeshores, Indiana has many outstanding road trip options. Here are some of our favorites:
  • French Lick West Baden: Check out one of Indiana’s best communities! Highlights include splashing around an indoor waterpark, catching some sun by Patoka Lake, and exploring Hoosier National Forest’s many scenic trails.
  • Ohio River Scenic Byway: Passing through Bevay, Madison, and Newburgh, this 303-mile byway is perfect for lovers of quaint little towns, relaxing B&Bs, and peaceful river views.
  • Brown County State Park: Take in views of Indiana’s fantastic fall foliage on a 20-mile drive through Brown County State Park.
  • Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway: This 76-mile byway crosses southeastern Indiana between the Ohio River and the historic National Road. Route highlights include Whitewater Memorial State Park, Historic Elmhurst House, and the Duck Creek Aqueduct. 

How to find affordable car insurance in Indiana

Your trip across the Hoosier State should be a breeze, but just in case, make sure you update your
car insurance
policy before you go.
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Granger and Schereville have the state’s highest rates of driving incidents (accidents, tickets, and citations), while Indianapolis and Bloomington are two of the state’s safest cities for driving.
The Indiana East-West Toll Road, the state’s stretch of I-90, runs for 156 miles across northern Indiana from Ohio to Illinois. You can complete your trip across Indiana in a little over two hours.
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