Ten miles isn’t that far.
It fits inside the boundaries of even small cities and is less than the distance many people drive to work.
But, as reasonable as a 10-mile drive might be mileage-wise, how long it takes depends on the roads you’re on and the speed limits and conditions along the way.
Ten miles on an interstate goes by in a flash, while 10 miles through the heart of a city can be a slog.
So, just how long does it take to drive 10 miles?
The answer is entirely changeable.
How long does it take to drive 10 miles on U.S. interstates?
Speed limits on U.S. interstates are between 55 and 85 mph, with 55 mph being the speed limit in metro areas in many states and 85 mph being the outlier in Texas.
Most sections of the country’s interstates have speed limits between 70 and 75 mph.
- At 70 mph, it takes 8 minutes and 30 seconds to drive 10 miles.
- At 75 mph, it takes 8 minutes to drive 10 miles.
How long does it take to drive 10 miles on U.S. highways?
Highways in the U.S. are a bit different than interstates.
They have more accessibility and more crossroads.
Due to this, they also have lower speed limits – 55 to 70 mph being typical (though, there are a few states with highway speeds up to 75 mph).
Highway speed limits may also vary within states, depending on how accessible the highway is.
Highways with limited access (those accessed by ramps or with few intersecting roads) typically have higher speed limits than those with multiple crossroads.
Highways with many crossroads and access to businesses and residences typically have lower speed limits.
This isn’t true of every state, but most states do follow this pattern.
On average, 55 or 65 mph is what you can expect to find on more accessible highways across the country.
- At 55 mph, it takes just under 11 minutes to drive 10 miles.
- At 65 mph, it takes just over 9 minutes to drive 10 miles.
How long does it take to drive 10 miles through cities and towns?
Cities and towns in the U.S. have drastically different speed limits, not just dependent on state and municipality, but also on where you are in the city.
The interconnected streets of downtown might have speed limits as low as 15 or 20 mph, while larger thoroughfares outside the central business district, even those heavily-trafficked, may boast speed limits up to 55 mph.
That’s quite a wide range of speeds you might go through when driving 5 miles across a city. (Not to mention the stoplights and stop signs!)
Generally speaking, though, outside of city centers, speed limits are between 35 and 45 mph, so we’ll use those as our default numbers.
- At 35 mph, it takes just over 17 minutes to drive 10 miles.
- At 45 mph, it takes 13 minutes and 20 seconds to drive 10 miles.
But, when driving through a city or town, you can definitely expect to hit a few red lights and stop signs and should assume a longer drive time.
How Long It Takes To Drive 10 Miles Entirely Depends
As illustrated, how long it takes to drive 10 miles greatly depends on the types of roads you’re on and the speed limits on those roads.
Driving 10 miles down the interstate will take you less than 10 minutes (most of the time), while driving 10 miles through a city will likely take you twice that long.
So, the answer as to how long it takes to drive 10 miles is that there is no definite answer. Drive time depends on speed, traffic, and conditions.
But, for your reference, here’s a chart that shows how long it takes to drive 10 miles at common speed limits under perfect (non-stop) conditions.