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How Long Does It Take To Drive 15 Miles?

By Harvey

Fifteen miles is an in-between kind of drive length.

It can take you across a single city or in between cities.

At the very least, it can get you from many city centers into its suburbs.

So, just how long does it take to drive 15 miles?

It really depends on when and where you’re driving, not to mention the conditions of the road.

But, while it’s impossible to tell you exactly how long it will take you to make a 15-mile drive, we can tell you how long it takes to drive 15 miles at some common speed limits.

How long does it take to drive 15 miles on U.S. interstates?

guy driving car

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 12 minutes and 52 seconds to drive 15 miles.
  • At 75 mph, it takes 12 minutes to drive 15 miles.

How long does it take to drive 15 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 16 minutes and 22 seconds to drive 15 miles.
  • At 65 mph, it takes 13 minutes and 51 seconds to drive 15 miles.

How long does it take to drive 15 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 25 minutes and 43 seconds to drive 15 miles.
  • At 45 mph, it takes 20 minutes to drive 15 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 15 Miles Depends on Conditions

winter driving

As illustrated, how long it takes to drive 15 miles greatly depends on the types of roads you’re on and the speed limits on those roads.

Driving 15 miles down the interstate will take you around 12 to 13 minutes (most of the time), while driving 15 miles through a city will likely take you twice that long.

So, the answer as to how long it takes to drive 15 miles is that there is no exact 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 15 miles at common speed limits under perfect (non-stop) conditions:

How Long To Drive 15 Miles
Speed LimitTime
2536 min
3525 min 45 sec
4520 min
5515 min 30 sec
6015 min
6514 min
7013 min
7512 min