I just read an article that my home state of New Jersey is considering implementing the "Yellow Dot" program that apparently exists in other parts of the country. Basically, you put a yellow dot (sticker) on the back window of your car if you have any type of medical condition. In the event of an accident that renders the driver incapacitated, this alerts first-responders to check the glove compartment for more information. The dot itself does not contain any information about the medical condition that the driver may have.
I did a search online, and found a description of a similar program in Illinois, linked here.
For someone with diabetes, this could help responders to know that the driver might, for instance, be hypoglycemic instead of drunk, in which case they would respond appropriately. But it could also be used in discriminatory ways, causing police officers to automatically assign blame in a car crash to the person with the sticker, or in predatory ways in which someone looking to cause an accident and collect an insurance settlements might target vehicles with the dot.
Does this program exist where you live, and do you (or would you) participate? Even if it might help me in an accident, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with a target on my window. I'd just hope that my Medic Alert bracelet and insulin pump would be sufficient to get the message across if, God-forbid, I wasn't able to speak to paramedics..
My alert bracelet says it all. No, I don't participate.
A number of years ago I received a sticker from medical alert, probably when I purchased a new bracelet. The sticker still resides in the vehicle I tend to drive most often, it is not as "eye catching" as the yellow dot, but there. Otherwise, my bracelet is always on me!
Yeah, I don't think I would participate in something like this for the many reasons you state. I just don't want it "out there" that I have some medical condition. I wear a bracelet that has all the medical info EMTs need to treat me if I were to become unconscious. In a perfect world I wouldn't have to worry about the possible negative effects of a program like this, but unfortunately there are some really bad people out there.
I think that ICE (in case of emergency) contacts and information on your cell phone solves this problem with the advantage of greater portability. I have used this information at doctor visits and for hospitalizations.
additional thoughts I found concerning yellow dot:
Yellow Dot Program or Yellow Dot Kits are making BIG news. This is a recent quote from a National Newspaper
“The Yellow Dot kit is comprised of three components: A self-adhesive yellow dot to be placed on your vehicle’s rear driver’s side window; a yellow sleeve; and a medical information record. Additionally, participants are asked to include a recent photo to aid in identification should the person be unable to communicate with rescuers”
Although the intent of the Yellow Dot Program is good, It is a horribly conceived plan, lets break it down:
1.The system requires you to conspicuously place a bright yellow dot sticker on your car. Hence the name Yellow Dot Program. This not only identifies you as someone with a medical condition, it now makes you an easy mark, a target, for someone looking to steal your records and maybe even your identity. Because now you have told them all that you participate in the Yellow Dot Program and your personal information is in your car.
2.Your records are all in one place, accessible to anyone that breaks into your car or even if it is towed. They are gone forever. So now if you want to stay with the program, you need to start all over.
3.They not only want you to identify yourself with the sticker and the Yellow envelope, they suggest you add a recent photograph of yourself. Now maybe it’s not the records some thief is after, it could be worse, they could be looking for you!
4.What happens if the emergency workers cannot get your records because the car is inaccessible? Maybe they see your Yellow Dot Program sticker but your on it is on fire, or at the bottom of a ravine or river. Even if they can retrieve it, it may not be legible.
5.What happens if you are not a car accident and need emergency medical care?
6.What if the emergency worker or Doctor needs your history, or even x-ray’s, they will not find them in the yellow envelope.
7.The Yellow Dot Program is Administered by Counties and is only available in certain States. If you drive to a County or State that does not have the program and emergency workers or Doctors are not familiar with the program, they may not look for your records until it is too late.
No it's not in my state and no I don't think I would want to participate in that.
Plus, if you run over someone, their attorney can take pictures of your car to wave around the courtroom!
I think it would be OK. If someone breaks into my car, they already have the information on my registration and auto insurance cards (name, address, etc.) What would having a brochure in the car saying, "I'm a diabetic and my doctor is so-and-so at this phone number..." really tell a thief? I don't see how they could use that, really. It's not like we're going to put our SSN or credit card number on the brochure, right? Lots of strangers already know we're a diabetic if we wear visible diabetic alert jewelry. The fact that I'm a diabetic would also come out during the discovery phase if I were ever sued for being at fault in an accident. With or without the sticker, that wouldn't change, really. Would someone really ram my car because of a yellow dot? I guess anything is possible, but...
I would rather have it come out without a yellow sticker on my car. A pile of unintelligible medical records are one thing but a yellow sticker is a yellow sticker!
LOL!!! Your car shall not bear the yellow sticker of shame. I hear ya, brother.
A musical interlude dedicated to auto autonomy:
Here in British Columbia, if someone has a learner's license--meaning, they're learning to drive--they have to put a big magnetic L on the back of the car. For the first two years that they're fully licensed, they have to put a big magnetic N on the car. The idea is that this lets others know that the driver inexperienced so that, perhaps, they'll give them some extra space or not be too upset if they make a minor error in traffic.
Bu a lot of parents have decided not to let their teenage daughters put the magnetic N on the car because they believe that it helps predators identify cars driven by young women. There's a $100 fine for driving without the magnet, if caught.
I wouldn't participate in the Yellow Dot Program if it was offered here. I don't want so much information about me available to all and sundry and it doesn't do anything to help me if I'm a passenger in someone else's car or if I need help when I'm out in public, but not in a car at all. I think that Medic-Alert bracelets make sense and they're always with the person who uses them, whether they're driving or not.
New Jersey recently introduced "Kyleigh's Law" which is similar. Inexperienced drivers are required to place a red decal on their license plate. The opposition is much like your description of the "N" magnet -- that drivers with the decal, in particular young women, might become targets.
Made my day - "Your car shall not bear the yellow sticker of shame." I prefer a Life Is Good daisy sticker on my own car, and some band stickers too, I am going in search of The Cars now...LOL :)
I agree with all of this. I carry a medical card in my billfold, and feel that the information there is sufficient for anyone who needs to care for me. Usually, medical and emergency personnel will look there if there is a problem.
I don't want stickers of any kind on my car. I even take off the dealer's identification. Im Minnesota, insulin dependent diabetics are required to take a periodic eye test and declare their use of insulin for their drivers license.
Glad you liked it, karen. I have fond memories of dancing to the Cars in a disco in Oregon. That was back when I could bounce. Now I just wiggle. ;0)