Abels & Annes

Seeing Yellow Dots? Emergency Info can be a Lifesaver after a Chicago Car Accident

Baby Boomers fuel a new safety system used to help save those involved in a car accident in Chicago and elsewhere in the country.

The Yellow Dot program will now help drivers to alert first responders to vital personal information in the event of a traffic accident. The system will provide authorities with the vital information within the first 60 minutes, often called the “golden hour”, after a serious accident, according to USA Today. This time period can make the between life and death for accident victims.
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Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand that, as simple as this new system is it is also extremely effective. Here’s how it works. Participants in the system will have a yellow dot to put on their rear window. This sticker tells emergency responders that there’s a folder in the glove box that is marked with this same yellow dot. This folder should contain a picture of the motorist, prescription information, medical conditions and other necessary information. The free program started in Connecticut in 2002 and is now being used in 27 different countries.

States that are currently using the Yellow Dot programs include Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Virginia, Alabama and New York. Georgia is currently considering the implementation of the program. While each state relies on a slightly different variation of the system, the main goal in each area is the same — to save lives.

“It is very nice to see innovative programs to address the unique risks associated with older Americans and car crashes,” says Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Since older individuals tend to have more medical conditions, are on more medications and are generally more fragile, this sounds like a well-justified program, especially in light of the growing number of older Americans.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that roughly 10,111,000 passenger vehicles were involved in police-reported traffic accidents in 2009. Of these, nearly 50,500 of them were involved in fatal accidents resulting in an estimated 25,000 deaths. In the same year, a reported 2.35 million vehicle occupants were injured.

Baby boomers will face an even greater risk of injury or death on our roadways. The NHTSA reports that those motorists over the age of 65 saw nearly 5,500 fatalities, and another 187,000 injuries, as a result of traffic accidents in 2009. Motorist fatalities in this age group made up more than 15 percent of all traffic deaths and another 8 percent of all motorist injuries.

Illinois saw nearly 300 fatal traffic accidents with drivers above the age of 55 in 2009.

“It’s a promising approach,” says Jonathan Adkins, spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association. “Actually, this is one of the goals of automated crash notification systems. Eventually, when there is a crash, these key data such as medication needed will automatically be available to EMTs. The Yellow Dot program may be a system that can be helpful in the meantime.”

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.