Massachusetts Yellow Dot program aims to help accident victims

Car accidents can cause serious injuries to just about anyone, but elderly adults can end up especially debilitated. This is because as we get older, we lose the muscle mass and bone density that helps hold us together in a wreck.

However, there is now a new program being offered in Massachusetts and several other states that is made to help senior citizens communicate with emergency responders immediately after a car accident.

This communication is vital, USA Today reported, because treatment during the first 60 minutes or “golden hour” after an accident can mean the difference between living and dying.

Ultimately, people in the program, which is free, are given a yellow folder to keep in their glove compartment that contains important information such as medical conditions, prescriptions and an identifying photograph.

The participants are also given a yellow dot sticker to place on their rear window to alert emergency responders to look for the folder so that they can administer treatment accordingly.

Reportedly, the program started in Connecticut in 2002, but has gained the most popularity in Alabama, where about 30,000 to 40,000 citizens are enrolled, USA Today reported.

The program coordinator for the Northeast Alabama Traffic Safety Office said that both residents and emergency responders have shown an interest in the program. Emergency responders find that it saves precious time when they arrive at the scene of a crash and the accident victim is unresponsive, she told USA Today.

The president and CEO if AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said he also supports the program. “It is very nice to see innovative programs to address the unique risks associated with older Americans and car crashes,” he said, “especially in light of the growing number of older Americans.”

If you are interested in enrolling yourself or a loved one in the Yellow Dot Program, contact your local police department or senior citizens organization to find out if the program is available.

Source: USA Today, “Yellow Dot car program speeds help to crash victims,” Larry Copeland, 5/23/2011.