Get to know the rules and regulations for driving in Alabama and make the most of your trip to this southern state. We’ve outlined some of the most important rules of the road in Alabama as well as provided information on speed limits, parking, turning and navigating your way across the state. Getting to know regulations specific to Alabama will help you stay safe and avoid traffic offenses while enjoying your car rental vacation.
General Rules and Regulations
- At intersections in Alabama, drivers are not obligated to give right of way to vehicles. Instead, they must follow the signage and proceed only when it is safe to do so.
- Pedestrians always have right of way over vehicles, even if they are crossing illegally.
- When using your windshield wipers, you must also turn on your headlights.
- You must keep 500 feet of distance between your vehicle and emergency vehicles.
- A recent addition to Alabama’s road rules is that drivers must move one lane away from emergency vehicles that have stopped. If this is not possible the driver must slow down to 15 mph below the speed limit, or to 10 mph in a 20 mph speed zone.
- Seatbelts must be worn at all times when traveling in the front seats. Children under the age of 15 must wear a seatbelt wherever they are seated.
- Babies and toddlers must be placed in an appropriately sized safety seat. Children under 5 must use a booster seat. With SIXT you can reserve your safety and booster seats as an optional add-on when making your booking online.
- Blood alcohol levels are a maximum of 0.02% for drivers under 21 years old and 0.08% for drivers older than 21.
Speed Limits in Alabama
Speed limits in Alabama are similar to much of the United States with a minimum of 15 mph in school zones and a maximum of 70 mph on some interstate highways. The speed limit is highly variable in some areas so make sure you check the signs. Here are the general speed limits across the state.
|School zones||15 mph|
|Residential areas||25 mph|
|Non-paved county roads||35 mph|
|Roadways with 4 or more lanes||65 mph|
|Interstate highways||70 mph|
Turning and Parking
- In Alabama, you are permitted to turn right at a red light provided you follow the traffic signs. U-turns are also legal, provided you make them safely and do not impede traffic in any direction.
- Most parking rules will be signposted in towns and cities but make sure you do not park in front of a curb painted yellow or a driveway or in front of a bridge.
- You should be sure to leave 15 feet of distance between your vehicle and a fire hydrant and not park within 20 feet of a crosswalk.
Car Rental with SIXT in Alabama
From forests, canyons and rivers to the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama has superb scenic byways that give your road trip stunning backdrops. In the northeast check out the Lookout Mountains Scenic Byway for views over gorges and dramatic waterfalls. Close by you also have the stunning Appalachian Mountains byway that winds through the area’s stunning landscape. Further south, the coastline of Alabama offers white sandy beaches and a laidback feel. Gulf Shores, Dauphin Island, and Orange Beach are all popular vacation destinations.
In Alabama’s cities, you will see many historic monuments to the Civil Rights Movement with the city of Birmingham playing a central role and Martin Luther King Jr.’s church and the Rosa Parks Museum both in the capital of Montgomery.