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Cheap Car Insurance in Birmingham, Alabama

The largest city is Alabama has plenty of options for cheap car insurance. Birmingham is home to an estimated 212,500, as well as a healthy craft beer and chef-owned gourmet restaurant scene. A regional commercial center, the city is the headquarters for two major banks, Regions and BBVA. A relatively low cost of living, scenic beauty and job opportunities have earned Birmingham a spot on many “Best Places to Live” rankings.

Driving Conditions in Birmingham

GPS maker TomTom ranked Birmingham as the fifth best U.S. City for traffic, based on its fifth annual Traffic Index. The report used trip data from its 400 million users to study gridlock in major cities. Birmingham's traffic congestion adds just under 14 percent to a typical commute time, the report states, while the norm for large U.S. cities is around 20 percent.

Census Bureau data reports Birmingham has an average commute time that is on par with the U.S. average of just over 25 minutes.

Real-time cameras, maps and traffic information can be accessed at alitsweb2.dot.state.al.us.

Unique Laws in Birmingham

Alabama laws prohibit 16-year-old drivers from having more than 4 occupants in the car unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, and they cannot drive between midnight and 6 a.m. unless going to school, work or a medical emergency.

A list of odd laws assembled by Thrillist points out that Alabama, thankfully, has banned driving while blindfolded. A 1964 Birmingham law states it is illegal “for a toilet facility to become so unclean “that foul and offensive odors arise therefrom.” Other city statues ban putting slugs or buttons into parking meters, skating outside a church while services are in session or riding a bicycle at “a speed greater than reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.”

Birmingham Crime Statistics

Often ranked as one of the country's most violent cities, Birmingham ranked fifth in homicides for 2015, according to FBI data, and 8th for property crimes.

The Birmingham-Hoover metro area had 3,671 cases of auto theft in 2016, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, or a rate of 337 incidents per 100,000 people. The rate is a jump from the prior year, when the auto theft rate in Birmingham was on par with the U.S. average of 220 incidents per 100,000 people.

Birmingham Safety Requirements

Drivers and front-seat passengers must wear seat belts in Alabama. Babies up to a year old or 20 pounds must ride in a rear-facing infant seat, and those up to age 5 or 40 pounds must ride in a child safety seat. Five-and 6-year-olds are required to ride in booster seats and anyone under 15 must wear a seat belt. Drivers aged 16 and 17 with intermediate licenses are banned from using cellphones. Texting and driving has been prohibited in Alabama since 2012.

Birmingham Impaired Driving Laws

Much like the rest of the U.S., the legal breath or blood alcohol content in Alabama is 0.08.

There is no minimum mandatory jail sentence for first-time offenders, but they will pay up to $2,000 in fines and receive a driver's license suspension of 90 days, according to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Second offenders serve a minimum of 48 hours in jail and pay higher fines, while third offenders spend 60 days in jail and can pay up to $10,000 in fines with up to three years license revocation.

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Swapping your high heels for a pair of driving shoes can help you qualify for cheap car insurance by avoiding accidents and getting "safer driver" discounts.

It is easier to get cheap car insurance with a car that has high safety rating than one without one.

When you are looking for cheap car insurance, ask if the insurance company offers a policy where they forgive the first accident.

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