What You Should Know About Alabama’s Graduated Driver’s License Law
Attorney Mike White of Floyd Hunter Injury Law recently appeared on ABC 32 with host Andrew James to discuss the Graduated Driver’s License Law and share Floyd Hunter’s new and informative Young Driver’s Guide.
Mike explained that the Alabama Driver’s License Law has three steps: the learner’s permit, the restricted license and the unrestricted license. Let’s dive right into the most important facts about each step.
Getting Started: Learner’s Permit
At age 15, you can take a written test for a learner’s permit. Once you pass the test and receive your permit, you must practice driving with a licensed adult who is 21-years-old or older. The adult must be in the passenger’s seat to supervise.
Moving on Up: Restricted License
At the age of 16, after completing at least 30 hours of driving training and having your permit for at least six months, you may apply for a restricted license.
To receive a restricted license, you must take a road skills test. Once you pass your driving test, you will receive your restricted license.
It is called restricted for a reason, as there are certain limits in place with the goal of improving safety:
- Cannot have more than one non-family passenger in the vehicle
- Cannot drive between midnight and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or responsible adult 21-years-or older with parental consent
- Cannot use a cell phone while driving
Final Step: Unrestricted/ Regular License
At the age of 17, and after having a restricted license for at least six months, you may apply for an unrestricted/ regular license.
There is no limit on the number of passengers or driving curfews, but teens should follow their parent’s rules, especially given that a 16 or 17-year-old driver’s risk of death per mile driven doubles when carrying two passengers under the age of 21.
What’s the Reason for a Graduated Driver’s License Law?
“This graduated program is kind of like keeping the training wheels on for a little bit until the driver gets more experience, which is the main concern we see with teen drivers,” Andrew said.
Mike explained that gaining experience is essential since from the first six months to a year of having a license, driver’s are 2x more likely to be involved in an accident, due to lack of experience on the roads and an abundance of distractions.
How Can You Help Your Teen Be Safe? Be Involved in Your Teen’s Driving.
One of the most important ways to help teen drivers be safe and successful, is to be involved in their driving education. This means being there when studying for the learner’s permit, and practicing driving.
However, being involved doesn’t end once your teen receives a license.
Driving is a major responsibility and teens should still speak to you for advice and follow rules to keep them safe.
“Once their children don’t need rides everywhere, often [parents] get their kids a car, and sort of just turn them loose,” Mike said. However, Mike suggested that parents should “really pay attention to where your kids are going, and what they’re doing so they know that someone is in charge.”
Parents should also keep these rules in mind:
Follow the Law
- Only allow your child to have one passenger in the car
Educate Teens About Distracted Driving
- Speak to your child about not using his or her phone while driving
Don’t Drive Any More Than Needed
- Don’t let children drive more than necessary
Start the Conversation Today.
Looking out for your teen and setting reasonable boundaries can help keep your teen safe, make them more responsible drivers and offer you more peace of mind.
In order to help parents and teens start a dialogue about driving safety, no matter what stage in the process a teen is in, Floyd Hunter created an informative Young Drivers guide.
Download your free copy here, and send a link to your child, neighbors, family and friends.
Your Local Lawyers Are Here to Help.
If you or a loved one are seriously injured in a car accident that was not your fault, call the experienced Montgomery Car Accident Attorneys at Floyd Hunter at 334-452-4000.
When you call, you’ll receive a FREE case evaluation by an experienced Alabama car accident lawyer. There is never an attorney’s fee due upfront and we don’t get paid until you do. It’s that simple.
We will fight to protect your right to the fair insurance settlement that you deserve for your car accident claim. Call Floyd Hunter Injury Law for a Free Legal Consultation at 334-452-4000.
Call Floyd Hunter Injury Law, because the right lawyers make a real difference.