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|Density||1,995 people per square mile|
|Average Cost of Car Insurance||$3,034.56|
|Cheapest Insurance Company||USAA|
There are four alarms outside the room on the wall—levers.
The block, when powered, conducts electricity 19 times that of a subway rail.
To pull the alarm if something goes wrong. To prevent damage, possibly catastrophe.
Tallahassee, the capital city of Florida (the 27th state in the Union) is home to many things:
- Pines, palms, hickories, and magnolias, which led it to be named in 1992 “Tree City USA”
- The 26th Best Public University in the country in Florida State University
- And the three-time national champions, The FSU Seminoles football team
And lots of highways as well.
We’re here, today, to talk about car insurance.
Why is car insurance important?
Because, like the levers in the previous prompt, it protects you from damage.
Perhaps not earth-shattering damage, but financial damage.
You know the stories of people that don’t have insurance. They get into wrecks, then they are held liable for thousands of dollars in damage.
And that’s just to the other person’s car.
If you’re here, you’re likely looking for insurance or yourself or a family member. And you might have found yourself hitting your head on a wall.
Car insurance is confusing. There are heavy-laden, technical terms, conflicting information, different types of car insurance, and, oh yeah, who has the best rates.
We feel your pain.
Here, in this complete guide to car insurance in Tallahassee, we take all the nomenclature out, all those technical, $5 terms, and demystify car insurance so you can make an informed decision.
We cover everything from t he best car insurance company by coverage level to t he best car insurance based on credit history and everything in between.
Are you ready?
It’s time to power the superconductor.
And talk about the factors that influence your car insurance rate.
Ready to compare rates? Try our FREE online tool today.
The Cost of Car Insurance in Tallahassee
Have you ever stared at your insurance bill, seeing the rate, and wonder:
How in the world did they get that?
Thoughts run through your head. I got that speeding ticket two months ago. There was that fender bender. Maybe they picked up that reckless driving charge from two years ago.
You might be right.
However: There are other factors as well.
This section takes a glance at the factors that insurance companies use when they determine your rates.
From gender and age, to zip codes and credit histories, here we go.
Don’t touch the aluminum box.
– Male vs. Female vs. Age
Age is a well-known factor that insurance companies use to determine rates. So what is the average age of Tallahassians?
26.6, about where premiums start declining significantly.
Don’t believe us?
Check out this chart:
|Average Annual Rate||$7,787.42||$2,987.56||$2,589.74||$2,370.95|
Between 25 and 35, the average insurance premium in Tallahassee drops by nearly $400.
17-year-olds have the highest rates, nearly $8,000, while 60-year-olds have the lowest rates, near $2,400.
Insurance companies have a reason: They believe that as a person ages, they are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
Driving recklessly, drinking and driving, cutting people off, etc.
Therefore, they charge a lesser amount per rate.
So, there’s age. What about being a male or female?
- In Tallahassee, males have an average premium of $3,933.92.
- Females have an average premium of $3,721.31.
As expected, males have higher rates than females, but not by a significant amount.
There’s a general presumption that males are more reckless drivers, that women are more conservative. However, this practice (setting rates according to gender) may be going away .
Here is the chart, combining all three factors:
|Demographic||Rate (From Cheapest)|
|Married 60-year old female||$2,346.94|
|Married 60-year old male||$2,394.96|
|Married 35-year old male||$2,566.59|
|Married 35-year old female||$2,612.89|
|Single 25-year old female||$2,881.58|
|Single 25-year old male||$3,093.54|
|Single 17-year old female||$7,043.85|
|Single 17-year old male||$8,531.00|
It’s fairly straightforward. You receive better rates if you’re:
Now, onto zip codes.
– Cheapest Zip Codes in Tallahassee
Zip codes are another factor insurance companies use when determining your rates. Why?
Insurance companies, when you’re in the underwriting process, look at the number of claims coming from your zip code.
There may be vehicle thefts, more accidents, more vandalism, and other incidents where a person needs to talk to their insurance company to get reimbursed.
This affects your rates, as these issues involve the environment you live in.
What are the rates of each Tallahassee zip code?
Here’s a chart:
|Zip Code||Average Premiums|
All premiums are the same, save for one: zip code 32305 , which is marginally higher than the others.
It’s not certain as to why, though Neighborhood Scout has 35 crime alerts for the neighborhoods overlapping 32305.
– What’s the Best Car Insurance Company?
Car insurance companies can be good or bad. Sometimes they’re easy to work with; other times not. Maybe they’ve set your rate too high and you want to change.
This is that section.
Along with zip codes, age, gender, and marital status, there are numerous other factors that insurance companies use to determine your rates.
The following sections cover those that are less well-known, as well as the cheapest car insurance according to the company.
Tallahassians: It’s time to save some money.
– Cheapest Car Insurance Rates by Company
What are the major car insurance companies in Tallahassee?
You may recognize a few of these names:
|Group||Married 35-year old female||Married 35-year old male||Married 60-year old female||Married 60-year old male||Single 17-year old female||Single 17-year old male||Single 25-year old female||Single 25-year old male||Average|
This can be looked at as a series of brackets:
- Allstate is clearly the most expensive, at $6,000 as its average premium.
- Progressive is second, at $4,700 as its average premium.
- Then comes the mid-range companies: Liberty Mutual ($4,000) and Geico and Nationwide ($3,600)
- State Farm ($3,000) and USAA ($2,500) round out the bottom
State Farm and USAA are the least expensive, making them the best deals (assuming you are an active or retired serviceperson for USAA).
However, it’s important to not just look at the cheapest rate, but weigh all the factors.
Here are some more specific factors that may impact your personal situation.
– Best Car Insurance for Commute Rates
Commute distances sometimes make a difference when an insurance company determines your rates.
The more you drive, the more likely are you to get in an accident—and file a claim.
Here is a chart of rates according to commute length:
|Group||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.||Average|
As you can see, five out of the seven companies change their rates depending on your length of commute—and how far you drive.
The biggest jump?
Allstate, which has the most expensive rates on the whole, jumps $300 depending on your commute length.
Other big jumpers are Liberty Mutual (+$250) and State Farm (+200).
However, four out of the seven stay relatively level or stay steady.
– Best Car Insurance for Coverage Level Rates
Have you ever wondered what the different coverage levels mean for your insurance rate?
The answer: It depends on your company.
Coverage level rates vary depending on the insurance companies, with variances in the differences in costs between high coverage and low coverage.
Here is a chart:
As you can see, the average premiums are on the right. They are in line with what we saw earlier.
Generally, there is a split difference:
The average is close to the middle and there’s a relatively even distribution between the high and low coverages in respect to the average.
There is a slight difference with the average premium being slightly less than the medium coverage cost:
It suggests more people are going with low coverage plans, driving the average down.
However, take a look at the disparity.
Most companies have a significant price difference between high and low coverage plans, with it generally being around $1,000-$9,00.
Now, take a look at Liberty Mutual. There’s just a $500 difference between the high and low coverages. That may suggest there’s not much difference between a high-coverage plan or low-coverage plan with Liberty Mutual.
– Best Car Insurance for Credit History Rates
History isn’t kind to people (or countries) with bad credit histories, and insurance companies aren’t an exception to that rule
Here are insurance rates from different companies based on a person’s credit history:
When averaged out, the difference between the average premium for poor credit history and good credit history is around $2,500.
A person’s credit history, to car insurance companies, signifies the likelihood that you will continue to pay the premiums. It’s a simple risk-factor quotient. The largest difference between poor and good credit history premiums in a company percentage-wise?
It’s State Farm with a huge jump from $1,500 to $4,200, which is a 280% jump.
The lowest costing insurance just became on-par with Liberty Mutual’s annual average premium.
For those with a poor credit history, here are some strategies to get out of it.
And here’s a video:
– Best Car Insurance for Driving Record Rates
Just like credit history, commute rate, and what coverage level you choose, your driving record can affect your rates.
Take a look at this chart with average premiums per company by various negative issues:
|Group||Clean record||With 1 accident||With 1 DUI||With 1 speeding violation||Average|
As you can see, the lowest amount any of these infractions will cause your insurance to rise by is $100 (USAA for one speeding ticket). After that, rates start jumping by the hundreds, even the thousands. Check out the averages:
|Clean Record||With 1 Accident||With 1 DUI||With 1 Speeding|
The most expensive penalty is DUIs, which amount to a $1,600 rise in rates, on average for the companies. Speeding tickets and accidents are about even. A clean record is $700 below all of them.
Of course, if you incur a DUI, you probably have more troubles than the jump in your car insurance rates.
– Car Insurance Factors in Tallahassee
We’ve taken a look at insurance companies, their rates, coverage levels, commute time, and more. However, there are other factors that influence car insurance rates in Tallahassee. For them, we require a holistic view of the city itself, and that means taking a look at Tallahassee and its people.
Tallahassians are known for many things, including their friendliness, and the city is known for its importance in the state as it is the capital.
Next: Tallahassee, statistically speaking.
– Median Household Income
The median household income is a good gauge on how affluent a city is; though, whether this is a good thing can be debatable.
So, what is the median household income in Tallahassee?
Tallahassee is not listed, as the number of above is just from the city itself. However, you can see that $42,418 is a significantly smaller median household income than Florida in general ($50,883) and the United States as a whole ($57,652).
The average percentage of income Tallahassians pay on their car insurance is 7.15 percent. Here is how Tallahassee compared to other Florida cities:
|City||Median Income Level||Average Car Insurance Premium||Premium as % of Income|
Tallahassee if the second lowest, just above Jacksonville.
To try it for yourself, plug in your information into the calculator below. It’ll give you the percentage of your income that’s going to car insurance.
Now, we move onto homeownership.
– Homeownership in Tallahassee
Homeownership is one of those hidden factors that influence your car insurance premium. Insurance companies believe that being a homeowner means you are more responsible, more stable financial, and less inclined to take risks.
Here’s a look at homeownership rates in Tallahassee:
Tallahassee’s homeownership percentage is 40, which is well below the national average of 63.9 percent. It is also well less than the 64.8 homeownership percentage in Florida overall.
This is still a slight rise from the homeownership percentage in 2016, which was 39.3 percent.
Take a look at property values as well:
The median property value is $185,100, which is an increase over the 2016 value by $2,900. The largest share of property values is between $200k and $250k. That number is overall higher than that of Florida at large ($178,700) but beneath the median in the United States ($193,500).
– Education in Tallahassee
Education is a major industry in Tallahassee, with the top three schools awarding 18,269 degrees in 2016. Those schools are:
- Florida State University (12,825 degrees awarded)
- Tallahassee Community College (3,111 degrees awarded)
- Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (2,333 degrees awarded)
Florida State University is an important and prestigious university, with the U.S. News World and Report naming it the 26th best public university in the United States and 70th in universities overall. It’s ranked 5th in the business insurance program and 11th in the real estate.
Tallahassee Community College is billed as one of the top community colleges in the nation, with over 18,000 students (’17-’18) and 92 percent of their faculty having master’s degrees or higher.
Here is a look at the bachelor’s degrees concentrations in 2016:
The spread was varied, with no concentration having more than 7 percent of the whole. The top three were:
- General Psychology (6.92 percent)
- Criminal Justice – Safety Studies (5.58 percent)
- General Finance (4.72 percent)
Those numbers, presumably, were mostly from Florida State University, the major four-year degree college. For associate degrees, over 90 percent were concentrated on liberal arts.
Now, for the 1-2 year post-secondary certificates:
The spread here, like with bachelor’s degrees concentrations, was varied, with one heavy hitter. The top three concentrations were:
- General Cosmetology (48.9 percent)
- Massage Therapy (10.6 percent)
- Welding Technology (6.15 percent)
Overall, education is a major economic booster for Tallahassee, which is widely considered a very large college town.
WCTV, a local news station, interviewed administrators in the major universities in town and found that Florida State University Students spend $888 million per year in Tallahassee, and that job totals rise 1.5 percent when the semesters are in session.
They also note that the number of students arriving that year: 63,000.
Add that to the major initiatives such as the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and there’s significant education, research, and improvement done in Tallahassee. It may be one of the reasons it’s a growing city in Florida.
– Wage by Race & Ethnicity in Common Jobs
However, what are the race and ethnicity backgrounds in Tallahassee, and what kind of money are they making?
Here we look at those factors categorized within common jobs:
The leading earners according to race are:
- Asians ($54,227)
- Alaska Native ($50,175)
- White ($47,927)
Here is a look at wages of races and ethnicities by common job type as a percentage of income:
|Ethnicity||Miscellaneous Managers Salary||Premium as Percentage of Income||Elementary & Middle School Teachers||Premium as Percentage of Income||Retail Salespersons||Premium as Percentage of Income|
|Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||$69,397||4.37%||$33,520||9.05%||$6,870||44.17%|
|Two or More Races||$68,409||4.44%||$39,183||7.74%||$19,616||15.47%|
For miscellaneous managers, Asians, whites, and Native Hawaiian are on top. Each pay roughly between 3.5 percent and 4.5 percent of their income on car insurance premiums.
However, that number gets much higher with elementary and middle school teachers, and then retail salespersons. On average, the salary for a miscellaneous manager is $70,903.
On average, the average salary is $36,884 for elementary and middle school teachers and $22,026 for retail salespersons.
The top three races and ethnicities within elementary and middle school teachers—whites, blacks, and two or more races—pay around 7.5 percent of their income on car insurance premiums.
For retail salespersons, the top three earning races and ethnicities are American Indian, whites, and others. They pay between 9 percent and 13 percent on car insurance premiums.
As is typical, there are always inequities in wages, as the Economic Policy Insitute reports.
One example is the gap between races, as in this the case of these categories, blacks average $35,191, while the general average is $43,271.
– Wage by Gender in Common Jobs
As gender plays a role in car insurance rates, it’s also important to look at how gender affects wages.
The dark blue is male wages, the dark red being female wages. As you can see, the wages for males are higher in every category.
|Occupation||Male Salary||Premium as Percentage of Income||Female Salary||Premium as Percentage of Income|
The gap is significant, with males earning over double what females make for both categories. Males also pay less on car insurance premiums, over 1 percent less within miscellaneous managers and 3 percent less with retail salespersons.
– Poverty by Age and Gender
Poverty is a major issue in Tallahassee.
According to Datausa.io, 27.1 percent of the population is below the poverty line (nearly 48,000 people out of 177,000 thousand people).
However, for most age groups, it’s not a significant issue. Check out this chart for the percentage share based on age and gender:
As you can see, the 18-24 age bracket makes up over 50 percent of all households in poverty. The second largest group is 25-34-year-olds with a little over 12 percent.
As written in the Tallahassee Democrat:
Tallahassee’s large college student population plays a swaying role, economic experts said.
Meaning, four college students living together that have less than $25,000 in income fall under the poverty line. And that can describe many college students, who are studying and possibly not working a full-time job.
The effect that college students not living with relatives have on the poverty rate in the city of Tallahassee is 11.5 percent
It’s a large swing.
As far as gender, females are generally more in poverty than males, but in Tallahassee, it’s not by much. Still, that fits in with some national trends.
– Poverty by Race and Ethnicity
Whites and blacks are nearly even in poverty share, with 43.8 percent and 43.4 percent respectively.
Hispanics are next with 6.51 percent falling under the poverty line. The rest are less than that.
Whites and blacks are the two largest racial blocks (57 percent and 35 percent) so that’s not necessarily surprising, though there is an imbalance of whites to blacks, as blacks, even with a lesser population share, are more likely to be in poverty.
Sadly, Tallahassee has been described as a Tale of Two Cities when it comes to its racial divide. However, citing business, capital gains, diverse cultural activities, and more, one writer labeled Tallahassee as the best city in which blacks can live.
– Employment by Occupations
From 2016 to 2017, employment in Tallahassee grew by 1.36 percent, from 94,100 employees to 95,300 employees.
[GRAPH IS NOT LOADING IN DATAUSA.IO FOR ME]
The workforce is diverse, with multiple industries represented in the top three. They are:
- Office and Administrative Support Occupations (14,586 people)
- Sales and Related Occupations (10,919 people)
- Education, Training, and Library Occupations (9,464 people)
The highest paid are legal and architecture occupations.
Okay, now you have an understanding of the social climate and economics of Tallahassee.
Ready to get that superconductor really going and smack some electrons around?
Driving in Tallahassee
In order to drive safely in a city, it’s important to know various things—what the roads are like, what the vehicles are (and which are most likely to be stolen), and how good (or bad) the traffic is.
– Roads in Tallahassee
What are the roads like? The highways? The road conditions?
This section answers those questions and more.
Let’s get started.
– Major Highways
Tallahassee has eight major highways running through it. Those highways total 1,990 miles. Check them out:
|Interstate/Highway||Length (Miles)||Toll (Yes/No)|
|U.S. Route 27||481||No|
|U.S. Route 90||409||No|
|U.S. Route 319||303||No|
|State Road 20||358||No|
|State Road 61||57||No|
|State Road 363||20||No|
After a bit of digging, it seems that there aren’t terrible highways that back up significantly, which is a positive for people commuting. Certainly not like other cities in Los Angeles and Austin.
None of the above highways are toll roads, but there is an interesting toll road/highway that opened up in the past few years. It’s called the Orchard Pond Parkway, and it was privately built, opening in 2016.
It’s a two-lane toll road that provides a by-pass of the city of Tallahassee, connecting the northeastern and northwestern parts of I-10. At 5.2 miles it’s a short trip, but it’s scenic. To use it, you’ll need a Sun Pass, which is a pass used for most toll roads in Florida.
For the larger view, Florida has 12 interstates that span a total of nearly 1,500 miles. It’s a large state with nearly 66,000 square miles and laid out in a strange way so that getting around is tougher than a normal state.
Many Floridians choose to use the Florida Turnpike, which spans over 500 miles. It’s used by over two million motorists daily and is operated by the Florida Department of Transporation.
However, for the Florida Turnpike, it’s helpful to have a Sun Pass as well. The Sun Pass is a prepaid toll program which operates by cards which are loaded with a certain amount of money.
You attach it to your windshield and the transponders in the card and the ones at the station automatically connect as you drive through, wherein the money is deducted.
If you’re looking to purchase, the cost of the transponder is:
- $19.99 plus tax for the regular transponder
- $4.99 for the mini transponder
To replace a damaged or lost transponder, the cost is the same as the original payment.For more information about transponders, visit one of the Sun Pass linked websites above or call:
Whichever route you choose to drive in Florida, you’ll often have options. Now, where would you go for a day trip if you were living in Tallahassee?
– Popular Road Trips/Sites
Manatees, lighthouses, pristine beaches, and colonial buildings left over from the conquest of the Spanish. Florida has just about everything. There’s a reason Florida has over 100 million visitors per year.
If you live in Tallahassee or are just visiting for a little bit and want to get out of town, here are four options that have something for just about everyone.
- St. George Island State Park: A barrier island fronting Apalachicola Bay, this island has a little bit for everyone, including kayaking, canoeing, bird watching, and, of course, the pristine beaches. In the pine forests, look out for the woodpeckers and bald eagles. Campgrounds are available.
- Ginnie Springs: With seven crystal clear springs that are a comfy 72 degrees all year round, Ginnie Springs has been a haven for anyone who loves the water. Kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and scuba diving are available. You can even dive with the manatees.
- Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park: Just outside of Tallahassee, this part botanical garden, part historical site, combines a scenic antebellum setting with the beauty of flowers and lots of them. Azaleas, camellias, gardenias, jasmines, and more provide a backdrop for a relaxing, even romantic, day.
- St. Augustine: Known as The Ancient City, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the United States, formed in 1565. Today, you can walk the cobblestone streets, check out the historical sites, visit the quaint and unique shops, or check out one of 43 miles of pristine beaches.
Those are some of the day destinations, but this is Florida—there are plenty more, with flavors for everyone.
– Road Conditions
Road conditions do two things:
- They determine how much aggravation you will feel driving somewhere (ever veered out of the way of a pothole?).
- And they will cost you a certain amount of money, from repairs to new tires to anything else.
So what are the road conditions like in Tallahassee? It usually either feast or famine.
|Poor Share||Mediocre Share||Fair Share||Good Share||Vehicle Operating Costs|
Most of Tallahassee’s roads are actually good. However, 32 percent fall into the categories of mediocre or poor. Only 11 percent are fair.
What is a poor quality road? Here are some characteristics:
- Potholes, which can cause people to veer out of the way
- Deep ridges in the road, which can lead to wheels getting stuck
- Debris in the road, such as a fallen utility pole
- Poorly painted lines or signs that are obscured by objects
- Roads that are so worn they become slippery and hard to drive on
The cost of the road conditions on Tallahassians is significant, at $319.
The Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency (CRTPA) (which is the organization in charge of making improvements to traffic-related infrastructure) has a number of improvement or transportation plans available for viewing on its website.
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan
- Southwest Area Transportation Plan
- Midtown Area Transportation Plan
– Does your city use speeding or red light cameras?
- For speeding cameras, it doesn’t appear so
- For red light cameras, no, at least not in the city
Red light cameras have been a hot topic in Florida ever since the passing of the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, passed in 2010 and named after someone killed when someone ran a red light.
The program has a bit of history in Tallahassee and in Florida overall. Seemingly since the act’s passing, certain legislators have tried to overturn it every congressional session, without success.
It was also discontinued in Tallahassee in 2015, due to falling revenue from the cameras and the seeming nature that they had worked (fewer violations were being recorded).
However, they are still operating in much of Florida, including nearby Gadsen County and possibly in other areas of Leon County.
But do red light cameras actually work?
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– Vehicles in Tallahassee
Different areas have different trends regarding cars in a city, including the number of cars in a household, how many homes are without cars, the speed traps in the city, and vehicle.
Tallahassee has some interesting ones.
Let’s get started. Don’t burn yourself with that electricity.
– Cars per Household
That’s the question of this section. Here’s a graph from datausa.io:
Tallahassians average two cars per household, which is with the national average. However, that’s where the similarities end.
There are far more households with one car (29.3 percent) than any number over two (three- four- and five- car households are around 23 percent total).
Those numbers fit in with Tallahassee’s population demographics, with 60,000 college students in town for at least two-thirds of the year.
– Households Without a Car
Being without a car is difficult, and oftentimes it is the households under the poverty line that lack a vehicle. What is that percentage of households in Tallahassee?
|2015 Households without Vehicles||2016 Households without Vehicles||2015 Vehicles per Household||2016 Vehicles per Household|
From 2015 to 2016, the percentage of households that didn’t have a car dropped by 1.5 percent, which is good. 6.9 percent is a medium-level number compared to other cities and not necessarily surprising considering the college population.
– Speed Traps In Your City
Speed traps are one of the more unpleasant surprises when driving to work—or driving at all.
How does Tallahassee rank when compared to other Florida cities?
The good news: They don’t crack the top 10 (of worst cities overall). However, there are some to look out for.
- I-10 ditches of Leon County (police hide like jackals in the ditches, writes the user)
- Thomasville Road coming from Georgia (I now have to take care of my sick friend and do driving school, writes the user)
- Due west of Tallahassee on I10 (Avoid this area like the plague…Almost seems un-American to me, writes the user)
– Vehicle Theft in Tallahassee
Vehicle theft is very stressful, even when you’re not in the car when it happens.
So how many vehicle thefts are there in Tallahassee each year?
|Area||Motor Vehicle Theft (Total)||Motor Vehicle Theft Rate|
In 2017, there were 776 motor vehicle thefts in Tallahassee, which is at a higher rate of nearly 1.5 than the United States average.
However, it varies by neighborhood. What are the safest neighborhoods in Tallahassee? Neighborhood Scout has a list:
What are the general crime statistics about Tallahassee?
|Tallahassee Annual Crimes||Violent||Property||Total|
|Number of Crimes||1,535||10,015||11,550|
Total in 2017, Tallahassee had 11,550 crimes, roughly 1,500 violent and 10,000 property. The general rate was 60 per 1,000 people, meaning out of 1,000 people, 60 would be the victim of a crime.
Tallahassee has a crime index of 3, meaning they are safer than three percent of American cities.
What are the totals of violent crimes in Tallahassee, compared to the United States as a whole?
|Area||Murder (Total)||Murder Rate||Robbery (Total)||Robbery Rate||Assault (Total)||Assault Rate|
As you can see, rates for violent crimes are much higher in Tallahassee than compared to the general United States. Almost all rates, including murder, are almost double.
How does Tallahassee’s violent crime compare to the rest of Florida?
- In Tallahassee, you have a 1 in 124 chance of being a victim of violent crime.
- In Florida, that number is 1 in 245.
Traffic can be a pain. Whether it’s to or from work or getting stuck going to the market, it means lost time and lost patience. So what are the traffic statistics about Tallahassee?
Read on to find out.
– Traffic Congestion in Florida
The good news: Tallahassee didn’t make it onto at least one major traffic assessment site (TomTom).
- Traffic Index: 120.65 (this is a composite of all the other numbers; it’s fairly low (Miami has 213.49))
- Time Index (in minutes): 24.56 (the amount of time it takes for a one-way commute)
- Time Exp. Index: 24.56 (an estimation of dissatisfaction due to commute times; still low (Jacksonville has 713.33)
- Inefficiency Index: 139.23(an estimation of the inefficiencies in traffic (Tampa has 346.01)
Commutes are tough. Sitting in the car, getting ready to go to work or home. Stuck behind lines of cars, all with their brake lights on.
At least, they can be in other cities.
It’s good news: Tallahassians have on average a 17.8 minute commute time, which is considerably shorter than the average commute for a U.S. worker (25.1 minutes).
62.7 percent of workers have between a 10-minute commute and a 24-minute commute. Just 1.03 percent have a commute longer than 90 minutes.
Now, how are Tallahassians getting to work?
Around 8 in 10 Tallahassians drive alone, while one out of 10 carpools. Less than 4 percent of total Tallahassians work from home.
– How Safe are Tallahassee’s Streets and Roads?
Fatalities may be grim statistics but they can help. Safety is important and knowing where the difficult parts or contexts in Tallahassee can keep you safe.
For this statistical analysis, we looked at four counties—Leon, where Tallahassee is located, and Gadsen, Jefferson, and Wakulla, which surround Leon and where you might drive.
The analysis is from 2013 to 2017, and the statistics are taken from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration.
We cover everything from alcohol-impaired fatalities to pedestrian fatalities. Let’s start with total traffic fatalities:
|Tallahassee's Metro Counties' Fatalities||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||Total|
Leon County leads the way, which makes sense given its larger population compared to the other three.
– Alcohol-Related Fatalities
|County Alcohol-Impaired Fatalities||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||Total|
Gadsen, here, has a steep rise from two alcohol-related fatalities in 2013 to eight in 2017.
Wakulla also rises, about one more per year.
– Single-Vehicle Accidents
|County Single Vehicle Fatalities||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||Total|
Leon has a huge jump, with eight single vehicle accidents in 2013 to 25 in 2017.
The rest stay about level.
– Speeding-Related Accidents
|County Speeding Fatalities||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||Total|
Proportionally here, compared to the previous charts, Leon has fewer speeding deaths compared to the other counties. That number has stayed fairly level for the five-year period, with no county ever having more than seven in a single year.
– Roadway Departures
|County Roadway Departure Fatalities||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||Total|
Roadway departures adversely impact rural areas, as the Federal Highway Administration reports. The statistics, even in a grim topic, are more-so:
In 2016, 18,590 traffic fatalities occurred in rural areas, with only 19 percent of the total population in America living in there.
Two-thirds of these accidents involve a roadway departure.
For those reasons, it’s not surprising to see a rural county like Gadsen disproportionately represented in these statistics, even compared to a much more populous county like Leon.
|County Intersection-Related Fatalities||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||Total|
Here, Leon leads by a considerable margin.
Why? Probably because there are more intersections.
Okay, what about for passenger cars?
|County Passenger Car Related Fatalities||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||Total|
Here, Leon and Gadsen fluctuate a bit, with both sometimes jumping up and down 50 percent or more of their totals. Otherwise, everything seems proportional here.
|County Pedestrian Fatalities||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||Total|
Leon, much higher, as expected. The pedestrian deaths in each county stay roughly even, which is certainly positive, as they are not increasing.
|County Pedalcyclist Fatalities||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||Total|
Only two years out of all counties were a pedalcyclist death recorded: In Leon County for the years 2015 and 2017 respectively. Five total isn’t bad, though the hope would be that that number would be zero.
Here is a breakdown of total traffic fatalities in Florida categorized by road type.
|Florida Road Type||Fatal Crashes|
It appears that the highest majority of traffic fatalities occurred on minor arterial roads, which are roads that funnel traffic to different parts of the city (such as north, south, east, or west sides) but are not as large as an interstate, freeway, or highway.
The second largest category is collectors, which connect the minor arterial roads to the local streets.
The Federal Highway Administration has more elaboration on the roadway classification system.
– Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report
Every year, Allstate issues a report analyzing the quality of driving in U.S. cities. Here is the look for Tallahassee (2018):
Events Per 1,000 Miles
9.5 years between claims isn’t bad, and 18.8 hard-braking events per 1,000 miles aren’t either (hard-braking events can occur when someone approaches a red light or brakes hard for quickly-stopping traffic).
If you’re in Tallahassee and looking for a ride, it’s important to know which services are out there. According to Ride Guru, there are limited ones. This example includes a hypothetical trip from the international airport to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory:
- Uber X: $6
- Lyft: $6
- RideYellow: $6
- Traditional Taxi: $6
Sometimes smaller cities have fewer options for ridesharing travel.
– E-star Repair Shops
Esurance.com offers a repair shop feature with its insurance package, allowing someone to bring their car in (after a claim) to fix your car with high-quality service. You can even see pictures day to day of the progress they’re making.
There are just two in the Tallahassee area:
|NAME OF ESTAR REPAIR SHOP||ADDRESS||CONTACT INFORMATION|
|UNIVERSAL COLLISION CENTER-PARKWAY||2345 APPALACHEE PARKWAY||P: (850) 894-3600|
|TALLAHASSEE FL 32301|
|SHEFFIELD AUTO & TRUCK BODY SHOP, INC||4325 W PENSACOLA ST||email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
|TALLAHASSEE FL 32304||P: (850) 681-3633|
|F: (850) 681-0654|
Tallahassee is in the northern part of Florida, near the border of Georgia, and experiences long summers, short and mild winters, and dry springs and falls. The city is also known for having a one-inch snowfall every 17 years or so.
What are the average temperatures?
And the average sunshine and rainfall:
|Average Sunshine||233 days|
|Average Annual Rainfall||59.21 inches|
However, a big question, especially if you’re planning to move to Tallahassee, is what are the natural disasters associated with the area?
There have been 16 documented natural disasters in Leon County, which is three more than the U.S. county average of 13. A sitting president declared 12 of the disasters, and three were declared as emergencies. Here is a list of type:
- Hurricanes (6)
- Tropical Storms (5)
- Fires (3)
- Floods (3)
- Storms (2)
- Tornadoes (2)
- Wind (2)
- Freeze (1)
It’s important to note that certain storms may have been placed in multiple categories, as fires and floods can occur in the same storm.
– Public Transit
What do you do to get around Tallahassee if you don’t have a car?
Look no further. We’ve got you covered.
In Tallahassee, there is one main form of public transportation: The StarMetro, previously known as TalTran.
It runs throughout all days of the week, including night routes, which on Friday and Saturday nights end at 1 AM.
The fares are:
- Kids five-years and younger, K-12, FAMU (Florida A&M University) and FSU students: Free
- One-trip reduced far: 60 cents
- One-trip: $1.25
- Unlimited one-day: $3.00
- Unlimited seven-day: $10.00
- Unlimited monthly pass: $38.00
StarMetro also runs commuter buses up to Gadsen weekdays, all the way up to Chattahoochee.
– Alternate Transportation
Let’s say you didn’t have a car for a little bit and didn’t want to take the bus or maybe you were in a downtown or campus center and just wanted to get around quicker. Well, there is good news: E-scooters are coming to Tallahassee.
While Tallahassians and their politicians have debated allowing e-scooters in the city, that debate finally materialized into a pilot program, set to go live July 15, 2019. Right now there are five e-scooters vendors competing in the program:
Also, as the article notes:
If the program is successful, the commission could vote to extend it past three months and more vehicles like e-bikes could be included.
May the best scooter company win.
– Parking in Metro Areas
If you do have a car, you’ll have to contend with parking. Is it difficult in Tallahassee? Easy?
Tallahassee Downtown is a company that promotes downtown Tallahassee for tourists and visitors. They have a couple of maps worth looking at, the first one here showing the parking available downtown.
There are 12 state garages, followed by seven regular garages, and a bunch of paved and unpaved parking. The two major public parking garages are:
- Eastside Parking Garage
- Kleman Plaza Parking Garage
Each offers the same rates: $2 for the first hour, 50 cents for each additional hour. Eastside closes at 8 PM, while Kleman is open 24 hours, seven days per week. For Kleman, the evening rates are $1 per hour.
There is additional sidestreet parking throughout downtown, with the fares being 50 cents per hour and free on Saturdays and Sundays or after 5 PM.
As far as breaking the law or messing with the regulations, here is a list of parking citations, from overtime meter to parking in front of a fire hydrant.
– Air Quality in Cities
|YEAR||DAYS WITH AQI||GOOD DAYS||MODERATE DAYS||UNHEALTHY DAYS FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS||Unhealthy Days|
As you can see, almost every day for the past three years has been categorized as good days or moderate days, with just two days (both in 2016). Air quality is important, as you can see with some of the major cities in the world, including this one in China:
Being an active military serviceperson or veteran can be a demanding and challenging time. You know what shouldn’t be?
Finding your car insurance.
Here, we’ve put together a look at the military backdrop surrounding Tallahassee, what the military discounts are by providers, and what the rates from USAA look like compared to others.
Let’s get started.
– Veterans by Service Period
Veterans living in Tallahassee number in the thousands. Here’s a graph based on what conflict they served in:
As you can see, most (about 2,600) served in Vietnam, with the two gulf wars (2001 (1,600) and 1990s (1,500)) coming in second.
Now, how about the military bases nearby to Tallahassee?
– Military Bases Within an Hour
While there are no major bases within one hour of Tallahassee, there are two within two hours—both near Panama city. The first, Tyndall Air Force Base, is home to 325th fighter wing, the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group, and the 601st Air Operations Center.
The second, Naval Support Activity Panama City, exists to enable warfighter readiness. It is also home to one of the largest Naval laboratories, where research, testing, and evaluation take place.
– Military Discounts by Providers
In Tallahassee, there are only two companies that offer discounts to active or retired personnel:
- Geico: 15 percent, the person must be active in the military or retired
- Liberty Mutual: four percent, the person must be active
However, military servicepersons and their immediate families do have access to a company no one else does: USAA.
– USAA Available in Florida
Here they are:
|Group||Annual Premium||Compared to State Average (+/-)||Compared to State Average (%)|
USAA has the cheapest rates of those listed, almost 40 percent below the average premium in Florida.
Now, you might be wonder: This is all good, all great information. But what about the unique stuff, that makes Tallahassee different?
In the next section, we’ve got you covered.
Unique City Laws
There are many unique city laws, and Tallahassee is no exception. When it comes to texting and driving, tiny homes, and food trucks, Tallahassee has laws and regulations in place—ones, if you live there or are moving there, are good to know.
– Texting and Driving
Texting and driving is a serious offense. It leads to distracted driving, which led to 3,166 deaths in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Tallahassee follows the State of Florida laws, which as of July 1st are:
- Texting and driving is a primary offense, meaning that if an officer sees you texting and driving, they can pull you over without needing another violation.
- There is no handheld ban, except for schools and construction zones.
– Tiny Homes
The Dwellings, in particular, has been around—on December 2018, they celebrated their first year anniversary. Said director John Schmidt at that time:
We are able to provide people who have fallen on hard times, a way to rebuild their future and become part of a community that can provide resources needed to lead and sustain successful lives.
Tiny homes in Tallahassee, like with texting and driving laws, follow state laws that regulate (or approve) tiny home construction based on use. It’s easier, for instance, to build a tiny home that is used for an art studio, rather than a residence.
The Florida Building Code has numerous amendments to regulate the building and use of tiny homes, and one representative is looking to add another.
Also, in general, if you’re looking to build a tiny home on wheels, it has a good chance of being labeled as a recreational vehicle (RV), with applicable laws.
– Food Trucks
Food truck laws in Tallahassee, like the other two subsets of laws mentioned above, follow the Florida state laws.
This means that as a new food truck operator, you need a mobile food permit, which will designate your food truck as a Mobile Food Establishment or Full Service Mobile Food Dispensing Vehicles (MFDV).
This permit has numerous requirements:
- Employees shall not have bare hand contact with food
- Raw milk shall not be sold or provided for human consumption
- All water used must be potable (drinking) water
There are also registration requirements with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and the Department of Health, depending on where you’re serving the food.
If you’re in a designated area for food trucks in Tallahassee or in a park, you’ll need a permit from the Parks and Rec department.
Now, onto the Frequently Asked Questions.
Tallahassee’s Car Insurance FAQs
What is the minimum car insurance coverage in Tallahassee?
PIP covers you in the event of an accident when you or someone in your vehicle has sustained injuries. PIP will often cover up to 80 percent of medical costs, though $10,000 is a small number when compared to the medical bills of significant accidents.
Property damage liability covers the costs of any damage you did to property when you are found “at-fault” in an accident. $10,000 is also a small number, considering significant accidents will often result in the totaling of the other person’s car.
In general, while those are the minimum coverages, it may seem prudent to get insurance coverage that covers more situations than that or covers a higher amount for the PIP and property damage liability.
Some of those add-ons are:
- Comprehensive Coverage
- Collision Coverage,
- Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage,
- Emergency Roadside Assistance,
- Classic Car Insurance Coverage
Remember that early prompt about the “Bus Room” and the magnetic fields?
The alarms you flip protect you (and the world) from catastrophic damage. Insurance does the same for you.
What is the cost of living in Tallahassee?
Tallahassee is not a particularly expensive city to live in. The overall cost of living is generally lower than the state of Florida and about par for the average cost of living in the United States.
To get an idea of what basic liveable expenses would cost, here is a list:
- A gallon of milk ($2.13)
- Bunch of bananas ($3.69)
- Optometrist visit ($102.18)
- Energy bill ($144.36)
A studio apartment will run about $814, while a four-bedroom apartment will run about $1,573.
Not terribly expensive. However, make a note: Healthcare is the cost that generally exceeds the average.
Are there any languages I need to learn?
Probably not. Just 12.5 percent of people Tallahassee speak a language other than English, which is lower than the national average of 21.5 percent.
The most common languages are:
- Spanish/Spanish Creole (5.07 percent)
- French Creole (1.09 percent)
- Chinese (0.887 percent)
However, while Tallahassee might be a predominantly English-speaking community, Florida as a whole is much more language-diverse.
21 percent of Floridians speak Spanish in their home, with French Creole, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Portuguese, and Italian also spoken. If you visit South Beach in Miami, you’ll bound to come up to more foreign language speakers.
Florida is a multicultural state, so it wouldn’t hurt to learn.
If I’m a high-risk driver, how do I get insurance?
If you’re labeled a high-risk driver (drive without insurance, get in too many at-fault accidents, get a DUI) in Florida, you may be asked to get an SR-22 or FR-44. Both are a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, which proves you have insurance.
These can generally be gotten through the free marketplace, though the rates are going to be significantly higher.
If you have trouble through the free marketplace, you can contact the Florida Automobile Joint Underwriting Association, which pools together insurance companies who offer high-risk insurance plans.
It’s a Market of Last Resort, but you may be able to find the insurance plan you need.
What if I get into an accident in Tallahassee?
Florida, according to Statute 627.733, is a no-fault state, meaning that, in the event of an accident, each individual must file claims with their own insurance company to receive compensation for personal injuries or lost wages (PIP).
There are pros and cons. The process in Florida is simplified, meaning each person just has to deal with their insurance company and not the other person’s. However, there may be issues if your PIP has a low coverage amount and you have a serious accident.
In Florida, every driver is responsible for their financial well-being, even if you are T-boned at an intersection, suffer major injuries and lose your vehicle.
Keeping a high coverage amount (much more than $10,000) will keep you financially safe in case of a major accident where you sustain serious injuries.
Now, you should have all the information needed to make an informed decision about car insurance in Tallahassee. Clear eyes, full hearts. Happy driving.
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