Ask Trooper Steve: Is a crash report needed for a fender-bender?

No, not always

ORLANDO, Fla. – 'Tis the season where our minds are overloaded with shopping, holiday parties, travel planning and then it happens -- you back into another car in the mall parking lot.

The last thing anyone wants is to wait hours to complete the crash investigation process, so this Thanksgiving be thankful that there is a way around this lengthy process.
The State of Florida allows you to turn a minor fender-bender into a quick and easy exchange.

This lets drivers who are involved in a minor crash cut the middle man out and puts the timeline into your hands.

As long as there are no injuries, the car is drivable and both drivers consent to handling it themselves, then you're allowed to simply exchange your important information with just the parties involved.

Some drivers have waited hours for a crash report in a collision that literally has no damage just for a officer to walk up and hand over a piece of paper.

Why waste your time or the officer's when you can handle it without them and move on with your holiday adventures?

Take pictures from your cellphone of any damage, driver's license, registration, insurance, license plate and of course get the other driver's phone number.

Then you can either choose to handle it privately with the other driver or provide the information from your pictures to your insurance company.

It's important to note that all drivers involved in the crash need to be in agreement with this. If one party wants a police response they are entitled to do so, just remember law enforcement prioritize their calls and the chances are that your minor parking lot crash is on the bottom of their list.

Just remember, safe driving starts with you and that fender-bender can always be avoided if we just make driving our No. 1 priority when behind the wheel.

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