Is driving in Indiana easy?
Well, if you drive on empty roads, then maybe it is.
However, that’s not too realistic.
Most of the time, you’ll have to share the road with other vehicles, pedestrians, trucks, etc. And to be sure, this makes driving more challenging — if not the most challenging.
This is why, in Indiana, there are road rules that every driver should know.
And this is why, today, we’re going to look at everything you should know about the Indiana rules of the road.
So let’s get right into it!
Indiana Road Rules
We’re going to look at the Indian road rules when:
- Sharing the road with emergency vehicles
- Sharing the road with authorized parked vehicles
- Sharing the road with school buses
- Sharing the road with motorcycles
- Sharing the road with bicycles
- Sharing the road with slow vehicles
- Sharing the road with utility, maintenance, and waste vehicles
- Sharing the road with pedestrians
Don’t worry, we’ll go through each one in sections so you won’t get confused.
Sharing the Road with Emergency Vehicles
Have you ever heard of the Move Over Law?
In Indiana, this law means that all motorists should yield the right of way, stop, move over, or change lanes when an emergency vehicle is approaching with flashing lights and sirens.
If you can’t change lanes, reduce speed to 10 mph and always yield to the emergency vehicle.
Emergency vehicles include the following:
- Emergency vehicles operated by hospitals, clinics, and health corporations
- Fire department vehicles
- Police department vehicles
- Vehicles approved by the Indiana Emergency Medical Services Commission:
- Ambulances owned by private persons or firms
- Not ambulances but are designated to provide emergency medical services
- Vehicles designated by the Department of Correction and Indiana Department of Transportation for responding to emergencies
Failure to comply with Indiana’s Move Over Law will earn you a fine of up to $1,000 and a Class B infraction. Plus, you will receive a traffic ticket, meaning, it will show up on your driving record.
Sharing the Road with Authorized Parked Vehicles
Authorized parked vehicles use flashing lights to signal their presence on the road. So if you see vehicles ahead that have amber flashing lights, you are required by law to change lanes — away from the parked vehicle.
Again, if you cannot change lanes, you need to reduce your speed to 10 mph.
Failure to comply with this road rule will earn you a Class B infraction.
Sharing the Road with School Buses
Just like emergency and authorized parked vehicles, school buses are always given the right of way on the road.
School buses have both amber and red flashing lights, but these colors won’t be activated at the same time.
If the school bus flashes amber lights, that means it’s about to stop to load or unload students. When you see the amber lights turn on, slow down and prepare to stop. If you have to change lanes, do so before the school bus stops.
The red flashing lights will only turn on once the school bus has stopped. In addition to the flashing lights, the school bus will also flash a stop sign.
If you see these, you are required to stop, whether you are driving in the same or opposite direction as the school bus. That means ALL vehicles in ALL lanes must stop.
However, if there’s a barrier separating the two opposite lanes and you are going in the opposite direction of the school bus, there is no need to stop.
Sharing the Road with Motorcycles
Even if your car and motorcycles and motor-driven cycles (MDCs) can fit side-by-side in one lane, the Indiana BMV emphasizes that each motorcycle should be given the full width of the lane.
The reason is that motorcycles and MDCs might need to use the whole width to maneuver and avoid hazards.
Remember, motorcycles and MDCs are fragile compared to motor vehicles with 4 wheels. They can easily fall over or slip when there is a hazard or collision.
So if you are driving alongside a motorcycle or an MDC, always give enough space both on the side and in front. If they flash turning signals, give them space or wait until they make a turn before you speed past them.
Moreover, if you need to overtake a motorcycle or MDC, keep some distance first and then use your turning signal so that the motorcyclist will know where you’re going and can make space for you.
Sharing the Road with Bicycles
There will be occasions when you have to share the road with bicyclists.
If there is a bicycle lane, you are not allowed to drive and park on these lanes. These are intended for bicyclists only.
If there are no bike lanes, you need to follow the right-of-way rules as you normally would with other motor vehicles. However, here are some tips on how to avoid collisions with bicyclists:
- If you are loading or unloading, check the side of the road if there are incoming bicyclists.
- Yield to bicyclists when turning.
- If you need to overtake a bicycle, give a safe distance in front before you pass.
Sharing the Road with Slow Vehicles
Vehicles such as construction equipment or farm vehicles are usually slow-moving. If you see them on the road, be careful when overtaking them. Always make sure you give proper distance so that they will be notified of you passing them.
If there are horse-drawn vehicles on the road, be extra alert for hand signals that the driver might show.
Don’t worry, horse-drawn vehicles and other slow-moving vehicles are required to abide by the road laws.
Sharing the Road with Utility, Maintenance, and Waste Vehicles
Utility, maintenance, and waste vehicles will have a flashing amber light to signal their presence. These vehicles will often slow down or park in several areas of the road.
If you see them ahead, turn on your signal notifying them that you will be passing by. It’s important that you change lanes and not stay behind these vehicles.
But if you can’t change lanes or if there is just one lane available, slow down to 10 mph.
Sharing the Road with Pedestrians
Last but not least, pedestrians.
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable when it comes to traffic rules. Aside from the fact that they are exposed, lots of drivers forget to be alert for pedestrians.
So always keep these in mind to prevent any collisions with pedestrians:
- Always yield to pedestrians, even if they are not using crosswalks.
- Before taking a turn, look out for pedestrians who are crossing the road.
- Stop before the line of a crosswalk. Do not stop over the crosswalk at the intersection.
- If you are passing a school zone, slow down and be alert for children who might cross the road.
- If there are persons with disabilities and the elderly crossing the road, always make them cross first.
So that was everything you need to know about the Indiana rules of the road.
The road isn’t yours alone. You’ll have to share it with others.
And to be extra safe, you must follow all these road rules in Indiana.
Remember, safe driving is always the best way to drive.
So drive safely!