South Dakota Laws
Update: Snowmobile Accident Reporting
Requirements ( bottom of page).
When do I have
to report a traffic accident to Police?
§ 32-34-7. Duty
to give immediate notice of accident to peace officer - Violation
The driver of
any motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in bodily
injuries or death to any person or property damage to an apparent
extent of one thousand dollars or more to any one
person's property, or two thousand dollars per accident, shall immediately,
by the quickest means of communication, give notice of
such accident to the nearest available peace officer who has
jurisdiction. A violation of this section is a Class 2
Note: the law makes no
exceptions for animal-vehicle collisions.
§ 32-34-4. Duty
to stop after accident with unattended vehicle or property -
Leaving information - Report to police - Violation as
The driver of
any vehicle which collides with or is involved in an accident
with any vehicle or other property which is unattended resulting
in any damage to such other vehicle or property shall
immediately stop and shall then and there either locate and
notify the operator or owner of such vehicle or other property of
his name, address and the name and address of the owner and the
license number of the vehicle he is driving or shall attach
securely in a conspicuous place in or on such vehicle or other
property a written notice giving his name, address and the name
and address of the owner and the license number of the vehicle he
is driving and shall without unnecessary delay notify the
nearest office of a duly authorized police authority.
Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more
than is necessary. A violation of this section is a Class 2
immediately report any accident to police where any damage may
exceed the $1000 limit to any one person. You must report
accidents in any amount without unnecessary delay if the property
This can mean
$1000 to your car and no damage to the other car, it can mean
$900 damage to your car and $1100 to the rancher's dead cows, it
could mean hitting three other cars at $700 each (remember the
$2000 per accident), or hitting a parked car with only $50
What if the
damage in an accident is obviously under $1000?
Information furnished by driver involved in property damage
accident - Failure as misdemeanor.
Any driver of
any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in damage to
property shall stop his vehicle at the scene of the accident and
immediately give his name and address, and the name and address
of the owner of the vehicle. If the damage is to another motor
vehicle and the owner of the damaged vehicle is not at the scene
of the accident, the driver shall immediately leave such
information on the other motor vehicle. If the damage is to
property other than a motor vehicle, and the owner of the damaged
property is not at the scene, the driver shall leave such
information with the owner of the property or with a law
enforcement agency as soon as possible. A violation of this
section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
You do not have
to report to the Police, however, you must exchange
information with the other driver or property owner. Unattended
vehicle (parked car) accidents must be reported
regardless of amount, per 32-34-4, above. Your insurance
agent may still want a police report in order for you to receive
a settlement. The best way to find out who the other party is?
Report the accident to the police. The average driver has no idea
of what constitutes $1000 damage. On newer vehicles, a fender
alone can be over $500, doors are around $1000 each, and a rear
quarter panel goes for about $1400. In fact, a headlight assembly
alone is about $250.
See the Damage Estimate Chart we use
What if the
driver is not able to report an accident?
§ 32-34-9. Duty
of occupant of vehicle to give notice where driver is physically
incapable - Violation as misdemeanor.
If the driver of
a vehicle is physically incapable of giving an immediate notice
of an accident and there was another occupant in the vehicle at
the time of the accident capable of doing so, such occupant shall
make or cause to be given the notice not given by the driver. A
violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
If you are a
passenger in a car crash, and have minor injuries, with the
driver being badly injured, you are legally
required to notify police.
When, and to
whom, do I have to report a snowmobile accident?
The operator of a snowmobile on public lands, frozen
public waters, or private lands leased for public
snowmobile use shall, in the case of a collision or an accident
resulting in damage to a snowmobile or other property to an apparent
extent of five hundred dollars or more or resulting in death
or injury to a person, immediately, by
the quickest means of communication, give notice ... to the
nearest conservation officer or other law enforcement officer...a
full description of the collision or accident upon forms... If
the operator...is physically incapable of giving an immediate
notice...and there was another occupant in the snowmobile at the
time...capable of doing so, such occupant shall
make or cause to be given the notice not given by the operator.
Any operator or occupant who fails to file a notice as required
by this section is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
procedure has changed, in that the old law gave
snowmobile operators 24 hours to report to conservation officers,
and there was a self-reporting form for operators to fill out.
The new law requires immediate notice, and that a law enforcement
agency is to do the investigation using the standard motor
vehicle accident report forms with a copy being sent to GF&P.
Also notice that the damage requirement has stayed at $500
for snowmobiles, while other motor vehicles remain at $1000.
Information provided on
this site is accurate as of the creation date of page and
pertains to South Dakota Laws only. Your home-state
laws and procedures may differ. Check with your own
local police agencies for legislative changes to laws.
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