Yesterday (August - 10) we learned about Iowa's "steer it, clear it" law that took effect in the state of Iowa, in 2017. It basically says that if you can safely move your vehicle to the side of the road, after a minor accident, you're legally obligated to move your car.

We also talked about the immediate steps you should take if you're ever in a more serious car accident in yesterday's story as well. What we didn't discuss you legally need to call the police if you're ever in a car accident in the state of Iowa.

*If you are in a serious car accident, call 911 imediately if possible.*

Unsplash - Clark Van-der-Beken
Unsplash - Clark Van-der-Beken

According to the Iowa Department Of Transportation, "The driver involved in an accident occurring anywhere within the State of Iowa causing death, personal injury, or total property damage of $1,500 or more should contact the nearest law enforcement agency to have the accident investigated." 

The Iowa DOT also goes on to say that if you're involved in a car accident and it is not investigated by a police officer, you need to report the accident on an Iowa Accident Report. If you do not complete this accident report within 72 hours of your car accident, you can actually have your drivers license suspended.

The entire form must be completed including the insurance information on page 4. I would assume this is to prove you have car insurance. At the very least, you are legally required to have liability car insurance in the state of Iowa.

According to Iowa Legis, Iowa Code 321.266 says

The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person shall immediately by the quickest means of communication give notice of such accident to the sheriff of the county in which said accident occurred, or the nearest office of the state patrol, or to any other peace officer as near as practicable to the place where the accident occurred.

Do you need to call the police after a car accident? I guess it kind of depends. If you or someone has been injured, then yes, you should call 911 and the police as soon as you can. If you're in an accident that you don't believe has caused damage over $1,500 dollars...then you technically can get away with simply filling out an Iowa accident report. Regardless of if you call the police or not, your accident does at least need to be reported.

It's probably better to be safe than sorry and just call the police. Stay safe on the roadways and be sure to report your car accidents!

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