Teen Driver Safety

As some families prepare for a new school year, driving becomes an issue.{} Teenagers may be allowed to drive to and from school.

ABC 33/40's Linda Mays offers an important safety reminder though for parents and these young drivers.

Teenage driving safety is a real concern in Alabama.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 16 to 24, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Our state ranks number two for teen driver deaths.

That's why the new graduated driver's license law which was updated by the legislature in 2010.

It increases driving restrictions for 16 year old drivers for their first year, as well as 17 year old drivers with their license for less than six months.

Clay Ingram, AAA Alabama Spokesperson says, "We know for a fact that a teen with one passenger is more than twice as likely to be involved in an accident and a teen driver with two or more teens is more than five times likely to be involved in an accident. So that's the idea behind the passenger restriction is to help them be safer early on to get through that learning curve."

As Ingram mentioned, Alabama's Graduated Driver's License Law states that teen drivers with a restricted license cannot drive with more than one passenger, not including a sibling, parent or legal guardian.

They're allowed to drive alone, but must follow certain restrictions, unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or by a licensed driver age 21 or older with the parent or legal guardian's consent.

They may not drive between midnight and 6 a.m. except for driving to and from work, school or religious event, or an emergency.

Also the law prohibits them from using any handheld communication device while driving, such as phones, I-Pods, GPS systems, etc.

Teen drivers and all passengers are required to wear seat belts.