In the moments following a car crash, seconds count. When a collision results in trauma, the best chance for survival occurs when the injured are seen and treated within 60 minutes—a timeframe known as the “Golden Hour.” But in the event a passenger is unconscious, first responders must spend some of that precious time accessing emergency medical information—and each moment that ticks away can potentially mean the difference between life or death.
Enter the Illinois Yellow Dot Program, a statewide initiative recently unveiled by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) designed to provide vital medical information on vehicle drivers and passengers following a potentially life-threatening crash. As its name suggests, the program utilizes a conspicuous yellow dot decal, placed in the lower corner of the driver’s side rear-facing windshield, to indicate to first responders that medical information is available inside the glove compartment. There, emergency personnel will find participants’ Yellow Dot medical cards, which display an identifying photograph and include the participant’s name, emergency contact, personal physician, medical conditions, recent surgeries, allergies and current medications—helping to improve roadway safety and increase survival rates by providing the crucial information first responders need to save lives at the scene.
With the potential to save hundreds of lives on roadways each year, IDOT, the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Department of Aging and county health departments across the state are working together to increase awareness of this voluntary, federally-funded program, and provide distribution centers and information for interested citizens. Enrollment is free. Visit yellowdotillinois.org for more information. iBi