Drive Safe Alabama

Learning Center

Know the Law

Driving a motor vehicle is a serious responsibility not only to you, but also to all others on the road. To be a good, safe driver you must know the rules and respect them, as well as know and follow proper driving procedures. It is just as easy to develop good driving habits as it is to fall into bad habits. Safety techniques begin the moment you step into the car. Start by forming good habits immediately and use them for every trip, whether it’s for just a few blocks or for several hundred miles. Develop a routine for entering and leaving your car. Adjust the seat, mirrors, and check passengers to be sure they are properly seated and do not interfere with your driving.

Speed Limits
In addition to the basic speed law, the traffic laws set up speed limits for normal driving conditions. Speeds in excess of such limits are unlawful. All speed limits in municipalities are maximum speeds. The greatest danger of excessive speed lies in the increased severity rather than the frequency of collisions. Alabama’s basic speed law provides that you must never drive a vehicle at a speed that is faster than reasonable under existing conditions. Consider road, weather, and your vehicle condition, as well as your own physical condition. What might be a reasonable speed at one time may not be reasonable at another time because of conditions.
View the Alabama Driver’s Manual

Distracted Driving
If you are worried, distracted, or if your mind is preoccupied, you cannot count on being sufficiently alert to drive safely. Home troubles, quarrels, misunderstandings, financial worries, serious illness in the family, personal fears, or over-confidence make you far more likely to have an incident. Lack of concentration can dull a person’s powers of observation and cause an incident that could have been avoided. Driving an automobile is a full-time job. When using your cellular phone while driving, always remember your number one responsibility is driving.

The Alabama hands-free law states it is illegal to physically hold a wireless telecommunications device, physically hold or support a device, write, send, or read any text-based communication, watch a video or movie on a wireless telecommunications device, record or broadcast a video on a wireless telecommunications device, or use more than a single button or swipe of a finger to initiate voice communication.
View the Alabama Driver’s Manual

Drinking and Driving
Driving after drinking is a widespread practice. The consumption of alcohol by drivers is a major contributing factor in traffic crashes. Reliable research shows that a blood alcohol concentration of .05 percent impairs the driving ability of most individuals to some degree. Each year, approximately 50 percent of all fatal crashes involve drivers who have been drinking.
View the Alabama Driver’s Manual

Motorcycle Safety
Motorcycle incident statistics show that a substantial percentage of the incidents involve riders with limited experience. Motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on public roadways as other highway users. While legally everyone must abide by the same traffic laws, there are special situations and conditions drivers need to be aware of so they can share the road safely with those who choose to use two wheels instead of four.
View the Alabama Driver’s Manual

Railroad Crossings
The vehicles listed below are required to stop before crossing any railroad crossing:

  • School bus, church bus, or any passenger bus
  • Trucks transporting flammables or other hazardous material

When approaching a railroad crossing, you must top within 15 to 50 feet. The driver needs to slow down to allow himself enough time to be certain that he/she can stop when a train can first be seen. Railroad crossings protected by electric or mechanical signal devices require the operator to bring his/her vehicle to a complete stop. If there is more than one track, make certain all tracks are clear before crossing. You must also stop if the crossing gate is lowered or when a train is approaching.
View the Alabama Driver’s Manual

Alabama’s Safety Belt and Child Restraint Laws
Alabama’s safety belt law requires that all front-seat occupants, regardless of age, be restrained.
Alabama’s child restraint law requires that children through age 14 must be restrained when riding in motor vehicles in Alabama. The law applies to occupants of front and back seats of passenger cars, pickup trucks, vans (with seating capacity of 10 or fewer), minivans and sport utility vehicles. Violators will have points assessed against their driver record, in addition to incurring a fine of $25.
View the Alabama Driver’s Manual

Move Over and Quick Clearance Law

Most crashes that occur are Property Damage Only Crashes. As a way to reduce the impact of traffic flow, Alabama has passed Quick Clearance Laws that are designed to protect the safety of first responders and to ensure traffic resumes quickly when crashes occur. There are two main parts to Quick Clearance Laws:

  • Driver removal or “Move It” Law: “Move It Law” permits motorists involved in minor crashes, where there are no serious injuries and the vehicle can be driven, to move their vehicles out of travel lanes to the shoulder or another safe area before initiating the exchange of insurance information.
  • Authority Removal or “Remove It” Law: “Remove It Law” gives authority to designated public agencies, such as the Alabama Department of Transportation and law enforcement, to remove disabled vehicles and spilled cargo from the roadway to restore traffic flow. 

View the Move Over and Quick Clearance Law