THE NATIONAL SAFETY COMMISSION
Driver Safety: The Yellow Dot Program for First Responders
Thursday, June 03, 2010
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.
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 envelope containing a card with important medical information on it.
In Colbert County, Alabama the yellow dot directs
emergency workers to 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.
Quick First Responder Facts
The Golden Hour: In
emergency medicine, the Golden Hour refers to a time period lasting from a few minutes to several hours following traumatic
injury being sustained by a casualty, during which there is the highest liklihood that prompt medical treatment will prevent
death. It is well established that the victim's chances of survival are greatest if they receive care within a short
period of time after a severe injury; however, there is no evidence to suggest
that survival rates drop off after 60 minutes. Some have come to use the term to refer to the core principal of rapid intervention
in trauma cases, rather than the narrow meaning of a critical one-hour time period.
The Platinum 10 Minutes: As above, in emergency medicine, the
Platinum 10 refers a