It’s holiday travel season. That means you’ll check the tires, oil, and wiper fluid to make sure your car is ready. But there is one more way you can improve the trip, in case there is an emergency.
The Yellow Dot program in Pennsylvania is a good way to alert police and other emergency workers when you are having trouble.
Pennsylvania has 120,000 miles of state and local highways, plus 32,000 state and local bridges. Most of the time your ride will be smooth, but sometimes accidents happen, and placing a yellow dot in your vehicle’s rear window alerts first responders to check your glove compartment for vital information.
“It takes off that pressure of trying to remember important things like medications you take o recent medical conditions you may have been treated for,” said Jill Harry, spokesperson for PennDOT.
The free Yellow Dot packet includes a booklet where you can write vital information, like emergency contacts and allergies. PennDOT suggests using a pencil, in case the information changes, and putting it in the glove compartment.
“You can request a packet. If it doesn’t show up before your holiday travel, it will still give you an idea of the things you could write down and keep in your glove compartment. The, when your packet shows up, you can fill it out quickly and you’ll be ready to do,” Harry said.
The program is slightly geared toward mature drivers, but everyone can benefit. It’s a cooperative effort between multiple state agencies, plus first responders. It was created to help people in that first hour of an emergency following a traffic accident – the so-called golden hour.
“When you are in a crash, even if you don’t suffer a major injury, you might have a lot going on in those moments and you might not remember everything you want to tell them,” Harry said.
Yellow Dot kits can be requested by calling PennDOT at (717) 787-6746 or requests can be submitted online.