Q: What does that yellow dot on vehicles mean? Some are just plain yellow dots. Some have writing or coloring around them. But what the heck are they?
A: The “yellow dot program” is a national program, sponsored and funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, that helps drivers and passengers communicate important information to first responders (police, fire, medical personnel) in a likely time of need, e.g car crash. The sticker alerts first responders that specific medical attention may be needed for the people inside and to look in the glove box for that information.
This free program, often run by each state’s transportation department, provides the free yellow dots to place on their rear window, directing emergency services personnel to the glove compartment where they should find a folder, container, or envelope with vital information such as medical condition(s) and prescriptions, along with a photograph of the person for quick identification.
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Illinois launched the program in 2011. Participants place a circular yellow sticker on the lower left corner of the driver’s side rear window of their vehicles and fill out a card to place in their glove box. On the card is vital personal information that assists first responders in providing the best care for victims in the event of a crash. The information provided on the cards also helps hospital staff make critical decisions in determining the types of medications and treatment to administer.
Information on the card includes: the participant’s name, a photo, medical conditions, recent surgeries, current medications, allergies, physician information and emergency contact information.
Illinois State Police troopers are oftentimes the first emergency personnel to arrive on scenes where medical attention is needed. The Yellow Dot can provide troopers with critical medical information to help save a life. —Illinois State Police Col. Michael Zerbonia
Look for a Yellow Dot program near you. Here are just a few links to the Yellow Dot Program around the U.S.:
The program is available at no cost and is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
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