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What does ‘accident alert’ mean?

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(Photo: Thinkstock)

(Photo: Thinkstock)

DENVER — Usually in situations of severe weather, counties and law enforcement offices report they are on an “Accident Alert.” But, what does that mean for you?

It is the law to call police for any car accident, no matter how minor. The exception is if it’s on private property or during weather accident alerts.

The reason an accident alert is issued is often in severe weather or when the volume of accidents is so high law enforcement officials are unable to quickly respond to the high number of crashes.

This means that law enforcement agencies will usually only respond to accidents in situations like those listed below.  

  • Accidents with injuries or death
  • Hit and run accidents
  • An incident where at least one driver is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
  • If either vehicle is unable to leave the scene or needs a tow
  • If public property was damaged (ex. street sign or light pole)
  • Situations where one or both drivers have no car insurance

If you are involved in a minor accident, while a county is on accident alert you don’t need to call police.

However officers say that those involved in the crash should exchange the following information:   

  • Name, Date of Birth, Address, and Phone Number
  • Driver’s License Number and State
  • Vehicle license plate number and state
  • Insurance company and policy number

You are still required to submit a police report 24 hours after a minor accident, even in an accident alert situation.  Many counties have the option to file these reports online.