Indiana : Safety by City
- Cedar Lake
- Crown Point
- Fort Wayne
- Michigan City
- Santa Claus
- South Bend
- Terre Haute
- Winona Lake
Indiana is not the biggest state, but it has a lot of contrast in the 250 or so miles from top to bottom.
The outskirts of Chicago are in the northwest corner, and Indianapolis is a big city in its own right in the middle of the state.
Beyond that, there are hundreds of small towns and many miles of farmland where the world is peaceful and quiet.
Indianapolis is a thriving city otherwise, with a lot to offer tourists.
Indiana is famous for basketball and the greatest spectacle in auto racing.
There is plenty to do and explore in this state.
It may not have majestic mountains or mighty rivers, but it has enough charm to hold the interest of most people.
Warnings & Dangers in Indiana
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
Indianapolis has been a center of violent protests in recent times, and Chicago has a reputation for being violent as well. This makes the state only moderately safe, as there is some real danger out there. Indiana is in the middle as far as crime stats go among states. With some common-sense precautions, you should be safe there, but there are areas where it is not safe. Other than snow in winter, there is little danger from mother nature. Its level of safety has faded some in recent years.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
The metropolitan area of Chicago extends into the state, and this area has excellent public transportation. Indianapolis has good transportation as well. Some other cities also have solid transportation, and there are some good options for buses and trains throughout the state. They are well regulated and safe for the most part.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
Indianapolis is not known for this type of petty crime, and it is virtually unheard of in other parts of the state. Petty criminals try to find items unprotected instead of the more risky approach of taking something out of someone's pocket.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
There can be some big snowstorms and ice storms in winter, but public services usually handle those well. These can be very inconvenient, but do not fall into the disaster category. The land is flat, so there are no earthquakes or volcanoes. There is the occasional tornado, but those are rare.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
In Indianapolis, in certain parts of town, the risk of being robbed is high. The same is true for other large cities in the state. Even so, there are a lot of areas where this is not a problem. For the most part, it is relatively easy to avoid bad areas where there is a risk of being mugged.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Domestic terrorism is becoming a greater concern according to the Indiana branch of the FBI, with the rise of extremist groups on both the right and left sides of the ideological aisle. There are about a dozen threats per month, though most do not come to fruition.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Almost anywhere will have its share of con games and fraud attempts. People selling fake tours or selling stolen items are relatively common. Still, there is not a lot of this in Indiana.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Whether it is more dangerous for women is perhaps debatable, but women alone are at risk in high crime areas. People look for victims, and a woman alone can be a victim if she is out at night alone. There are also people who prey on women in bars, so women should be very careful about accepting drinks from strangers.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
Indiana is rich in natural resources and water is plentiful. Cities have good water treatment centers and provide good quality water throughout the state. There are no known issues with tap water in Indiana.
Safest Places to Visit in Indiana
The northwest corner is rural with a lot of small towns.
There are interesting things to see here, and not much danger at all.
South Bend is the home of Notre Dame University and is a haven for artists along with a plethora of interesting museums.
They have a chocolate factory that is a must-see.
Bloomington is also a great city to visit with a low crime rate.
It has a great arts community as well.
There are more than 200 miles of biking trails in the immediate area.
Fort Wayne is 200 years old and seething with history, and it is a safe town.
Places to Avoid in Indiana
Downtown Indianapolis was once a bustling area with a lot to do and a safe area.
With recent racial turmoil and rioting, it has become much more dangerous and the area has deteriorated significantly.
The murder rate in Indianapolis is three times the national average.
There are several places in Indianapolis that are very dangerous, but it is still a nice place to visit.
Clarksville, at the bottom of the state, just across the river from Louisville, KY, has the highest crime rate in the state and is a good place to avoid.
It has 58 crimes per 1000 people.
Gary, which is near Chicago in the north, also has a high crime rate, double the state and national average for robberies and other violent crimes.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Indiana
- Keep your car locked. Don’t give criminals an easy target. Keep your car locked even while you are driving. Avoid driving at night if possible, and stay out of dangerous areas.
- Don’t look like a tourist. Part of not being an easy target is avoiding making it obvious that you are a tourist from out of town. Don’t flash valuables or cash around. Always act like you know where you are and where you are going, whether you do or not.
- Keep important documents safe. Don’t carry your passport around if you are an international visitor, for example. Try to keep these documents separate from everything else and keep them safely locked away.
- Don’t go out alone. Avoid being out on your own, particularly at night. Criminals wander the streets looking for a victim. A person alone is what they hope to find.
- Drive defensively. This is old advice but it still holds true. While driving, try to anticipate what other drivers will do. Be cautious on the road by not driving too fast. Obey all traffic rules.
- Drive attentively. This is similar to defensive driving, but pay attention to your surroundings when driving. GPS devices can lead you to unsavory areas, so be aware and don’t always follow its advice.
- Watch the weather. Especially in winter, keep an eye on the weather report and heed any warnings given. Avoid driving on snow and ice if you are not familiar with this type of driving. Snowfall can be heavy and dangerous.
- Keep extra supplies. Especially if you are on the road, keep extra food and water on hand. You never know when something will happen, so it is best to be prepared. Keep extra blankets in winter. Pack extra batteries. Have extras of anything that might wear out.
- Follow your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in any situation, it is best to get out of that situation as fast as you can. It is better to be wrong and safe than right and sorry. Your instincts are probably right.
- Have a plan. Have an itinerary, and let family and friends know where you are, where you are going, and when you are expected to return. You don’t have to always follow your plan to the letter, but if someone knows where you are, they have a better chance of finding you if things go wrong.
So... How Safe Is Indiana Really?
Indianapolis is the most popular city in the state for tourists, but it is also one of the most dangerous areas of the state.
The crime rate is three times the national average in the capital city, but it should be noted that there are parts that are safe as well as dangerous.
Downtown Indianapolis has been the site of a lot of social unrest in recent years, as well as rioting, so some areas are not safe at all.
There are other areas of the city that are dynamic, safe, and fun to visit.
If you stay in good areas that are tourist-friendly, you should not have any problems.
Research before you go and plan accordingly.
Famous places like South Bend or Bloomington are pretty safe as long as you don’t go out at night alone.
Gary, Indiana is unsafe for the most part, with 250 robberies per 100,000 people.
At the same time, there are a lot of rural areas that are completely safe.
The northeast corner is fairly rural, as well as the southern part of the state.
These areas have a lot of wide-open spaces, and some nice state parks, where you can have a relaxing and safe vacation.
Some areas are dangerous for sure, but not more dangerous than any other major city in the United States.
With normal precautions and common sense, it is possible to stay out of harm’s way for the most part.
Even after having done your research, ask locals about bad areas once you get there.
They will give you current information that will be more accurate than anything you have found with a research.
Smaller towns are generally safe, and you are safe out on the highway for the most part.
Public transportation is good and safe.
Rental cars are generally reliable and safe as well, but it is still a good idea to check any car out before hitting the road.
State parks are very safe and great for recreation and camping.
The key to staying safe in Indiana is taking normal safety precautions and avoiding bad areas of various cities.
Check crime maps on areas you plan to visit.
Keep valuables locked away.
Don’t carry much cash.
Avoid dangerous areas.
General safety tips like these will keep you safe for the most part.
You do have to pay attention, but most trouble can be avoided if you are careful during your travels.
How Does Indiana Compare?
- Visas - If you are an international traveler, you will need your visa or passport to enter the United States. Once in the country, keep your documents out of sight and safe. You will not need them again in most cases until you leave the country.
- Currency - The standard currency is the U.S. dollar. You may make an exchange at any bank, or the airport when you enter the country. Most businesses will not accept anything other than dollars if you spend cash. Credit cards are accepted from any country.
- Weather - The weather is fairly consistent in Indiana. Warm but not too hot in summer. It can get very cold in winter and there can be a lot of snow. In fall and winter, bring plenty of warm clothing and watch weather reports to be advised of impending bad weather.
- Airports - Indianapolis has an international airport, and a few other large cities do as well. Some smaller cities have regional airports, and flights are available to major cities in the state. Airports also provide transportation to hotels.
- Travel Insurance - Indiana is relatively safe, but not the safest place there is. Bad things can happen. It will give you some peace of mind to know you have insurance and will be protected if something bad happens during your vacation.
Indiana Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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