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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Driver Safety: The Yellow Dot Program for First Responders

The Yellow Dot program is being implemented in counties across the country. The relatively simple idea has proven to be an effective way to relay information to the emergency response teams in the event of an accident. Participants in the Yellow Dot program place a yellow sticker on the bottom left corner of their vehicle’s rear window. This sticker lets emergency response crews know to check the vehicle’s glove compartment for important medical information regarding the vehicle’s driver.

It’s plain to see why the Yellow Dot program is beneficial in the unfortunate case of a serious, life threatening accident where the victim is unable to speak to the emergency workers. But, it can also be a vital tool in less serious accidents. Sometimes, people are in shock after an accident and they find it difficult to remember specific information. It would lower the risk of error in treatment is the emergency workers had immediate access to important medical information.

The first Yellow Dot program was initiated in Connecticut in 2002. To date, several counties across eight states have developed Yellow Dot programs of their own. Most of the programs have qualities that set them apart from other yellow dot programs; however the premise is the same.

For example, in Connecticut, the Yellow Dot decal indicates that emergency workers should look for an envelop containing a card with important medical information on it. In Colbert County, Alabama the yellow dot directs emergency workers o the glove compartment to look for a folder containing important medical information as well as a picture of the person the information pertains to. Obviously, including the picture will allow the emergency response team to quickly determine if they are looking at the individual the information pertains to.

In Alabama, the Yellow Dot program is available to drivers of all ages. However, a version of the program implemented in Kansas is geared toward seniors aged 55 and over. Again, the decal on the back window directs first responders to important medical and emergency contact information stored in the glove compartment.

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