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Yellow Dot car program aimed to reduce injuries sustained by elderly crash victims in West Palm

USA Today is reporting on a national program that will assist first responders at accident scenes in gaining valuable information on crash victims.

Our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys know that elderly drivers are at a high risk for getting into a Palm Beach car accident. In 2009, 447 older adults died in car wrecks on our roadways.

The “golden hour” is the most critical time after an accident for a severely injured patient. The more medical information available on the victim the faster appropriate care can be rendered. The Yellow Dot program speeds up this process tremendously, especially for critically injured or confused crash victims that can’t or are having a hard time communicating.

The program is free and is quite simple. Stick the yellow dot to the rear window. This will alert first responders to look for a yellow folder in the glove compartment. The yellow folder will contain a photo, a list of medications, a medical history and other important information like who to contact if there is an accident.

Connecticut began the nation’s first Yellow Dot program in 2002. Various forms of the Yellow Dot program are in counties across at least eight other states: Alabama, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, New York, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Virginia. Other states including Georgia are considering the program.

“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.”

A spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) agrees with the concept.

“It’s a promising approach,” says Jonathan Adkins, spokesman for the GHSA. “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, etc. The Yellow Dot program may be a system that can be helpful in the meantime.”

In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported nearly 5,300 fatalities and an additional 187,000 injuries from traffic crashes regarding older adults age 65 and older.
Florida has a unique situation that attracts the older adults in the winter for part-time residence and its warmer climate attracts full-time residence for retirees from all over. Statistics from the NHTSA showed that Florida led the nation in traffic crash fatalities for the 70-74 age group (113), the 75-79 age group (72), 80-84 year-old age group (82) and seniors 85+ (63). Florida ranked third (547) behind California (599) and Texas (559) in the 55-69 age group.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Miami, Margate, Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale, contact the Law Offices of Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC to be advised of your rights. Call today to make an appointment for a free consultation at 1-800-561-7777.

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