Florida Cities Ranked Best to Worst by Their Driving Habits

Floridians love to complain about traffic in their cities, and it’s no wonder. With so many beautiful beaches around, who wants to be stuck on I-95? But which city in Florida actually has the worst traffic and driving habits? Aceable decided to investigate. We looked at travel time to work, vehicles per household and walkability for some of Florida’s biggest cities. We also looked at the percent of the population in each city who is 65 and older because everybody knows that Florida has a whole lotta senior citizens and that those senior citizens like to drive sloooow. (Sorry, Mimi! It’s true though.)

Cities ranked better in terms of driving habits if they had shorter average commute times, fewer number of senior residents, fewer number of cars per family and a higher walk score. Walk scores are defined as the ease of commuting by foot in a particular area. They are measured on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being a perfect score.

Here are Florida cities ranked best to worst by their driving habits. Where does your hometown fall on the list?

1. Gainesville

  • Travel Time to Work: 16 minutes
  • Percent of Population 65 and older: 8.3%
  • Vehicles per household: 1.5
  • Walk Score: 34
Gainesville
photo credit: Douglas Green/Wikipedia.org

Despite not being Florida’s most walkable city, Gainesville is easy to drive through. In fact, residents have a shorter commute than the national average by about 10 minutes. Wowza. Maybe it’s because just 8 percent of the population is age 65 and older. Those Florida Gator students like to move through traffic efficiently.

2. Tallahassee

  • Travel Time to Work: 18.1 minutes
  • Percent of Population 65 and older: 8.1%
  • Vehicles per household: 1.6
  • Walk Score: 32
Tallahassee
photo credit: Ebyabe/Wikipedia.org

A college town like Gainesville, the capital of Florida has a low number of senior citizens and short average commute time. While this Panhandle city ranks low in terms of walkability, it seems the students here can navigate through traffic just fine. But as with almost everything else, the Seminoles only come in second best to the Gators. Driving habits count, too. Sorry, guys.

3. Tampa

  • Travel Time to Work: 23.3 minutes
  • Percent of Population 65 and older: 11%
  • Vehicles per household: 1.4
  • Walk Score: 49
Tampa
photo credit: Christopher Hollis/Wikipedia.org

Tampa has a middle-of-the-road walk score and is also somewhat bikeable compared with cities of similar size. Though citizens spend about 23 minutes commuting to work each day, it’s still less time than the national average. Tampa’s senior population is lower than the national average, too, which means less time stuck behind slower drivers. Yippee!

4. St. Petersburg

  • Travel Time to Work: 22.1 minutes
  • Percent of Population 65 and older: 15.7%
  • Vehicles per household: 1.4
  • Walk Score: 42
St-Petersburg
photo credit: Jamie Beverly/Wikipedia.org

On paper, St. Petersburg’s driving habits are nearly identical to Tampa’s. The two cities have similar numbers in terms of average commute time and walk score, and in both Tampa and St. Petersburg there is an average of 1.4 cars per household. The only difference? A solid 16 out of 100 St. Pete citizens are age 65 and older. Oh, boy. You left your turn signal on again, Earl.

5. Orlando

  • Travel Time to Work: 24.5 minutes
  • Percent of Population 65 and older: 9.4%
  • Vehicles per household: 1.4
  • Walk Score: 41
Orlando
photo credit: Bill Dickinson/Wikipedia.org

There’s plenty of reasons Orlando residents love their hometown. Traffic is not one of them. With an average commute time of 50 minutes per day, plenty of people in Orlando would not call this city the “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Despite this drawback, however, Orlando is a fairly walkable city, particularly in the neighborhoods of South Eola and Thornton Park.

6. Fort Lauderdale

  • Travel Time to Work: 25 minutes
  • Percent of Population 65 and older: 15.3%
  • Vehicles per household: 1.4
  • Walk: 58
fort-lauderdale
photo credit: D. Ramey Logan/Wikipedia.org

At the end of the work week, your average Fort Lauderdale resident has spent more than 4 hours driving to and from the office. That’s a lot of time behind the wheel. While this South Florida city has a better than average walk score, it seems most folks in Fort Lauderdale prefer the freeway to the sidewalk. The rest of the time they’re cruising on their boats.

7. Miami

  • Travel Time to Work: 26.6 minutes
  • Percent of Population 65 and older: 16%
  • Vehicles per household: 1.2
  • Walk Score: 78
Miami
photo credit: Mark Averette/Wikipedia.org

Although Miami has the fewest number of vehicles per household and the highest walk score compared with other cities on this list, it also claims the longest travel time to work and highest number of residents over age 65. Basically, Miamians spend a lot of commutes sitting bumper-to-bumper with grandmas. Beep, beep.

8. Jacksonville

  • Travel Time to Work: 23.5 minutes 
  • Percent of Population 65 and older: 10.9% 
  • Vehicles per household: 1.6 
  • Walk Score: 26 
Jacksonville-Driving-Habits
photo credit: Jonathan Zander/Wikipedia.org

It’s no surprise that the Sunshine State’s largest city is home to some of Florida’s worst traffic. Jacksonville has the lowest walk score among cities on this list and ties with Tallahassee for most vehicles per household. In this town, you’ve gotta drive eve-ry-where. Better make sure you have a driver license, Jacksonville residents.

Sources:

  1. Travel time to work and percent of the population over age 65 were determined from 2010 U.S. Census data at Census.gov.
  2. Information about the number of vehicles per household was found on Governing.com.
  3. Walk scores were found at WalkScore.com.