AMISH CROSSING horse buggy religious NEW sign 

Amish buggies in northern Indiana often have a lot more “bells and whistles,” with rubber wheels (with treads), flashing lights, and roofs, while other areas have more Spartan buggies.   Black roofs are most common on buggies, but some sects in Pennsylvania will use gray, white, or even yellow tops to their buggies. Other Amish communities near Berne, Indiana and Seymour, Missouri (these are Swiss sects which following slightly different customs than other Amish) do not allow their church members to drive covered buggies, so you'll see only “open buggies” on the road.

More and more municipalities that count Amish among their residents are putting in “buggy lanes”, which is a wide shoulder to the road designed to allow safe buggy passage.


Be very careful when traveling through Amish areas. Yellow road signs like the one pictured above are often posted around Amish communities to warn drivers of slow-moving horse-drawn vehicles. As suburban sprawl has crept closer to Amish communities and modern life has become more fast-paced and frantic, an increasing number of cars and buggies find themselves jockeying for the same space.   In

a car-buggy collision, the car always wins.


Here's some advice for driving through Amish country:

"  DRIVE SLOW:   Okay, this one is a no-brainer but for even the most seasoned drivers it can be quite amazing how quickly your car   approaches a horse-drawn buggy.   Top hills with the utmost caution and at night be on alert for dim slow-moving vehicles.   In some extra-conservative Amish areas, you won't even see the universal orange triangle symbol on the back of the buggy, you'll just have reflective tape as a warning.

"  DON'T GAWK:   Yes, the kids in the back of the buggy with their straw hats and bonnets are cute.   Yes, it's really neat to see the buggy in all of it's 19 th century splendor.   But the Amish, while a cultural curiosity to some, are not a living history exhibit. They genuinely choose this path of simplicity.   Not only is staring at them rude, it also takes your eyes off the rode for precious seconds.   This is especially important when passing a buggy.   Make sure you scan the opposing traffic lane and ease around the buggy at a slow speed, making sure to keep plenty of distance between your car and the buggy. Horses can get spooked and, while rare, can dart your way without warning.