NSC Shares Important Safety Precautions Ahead of Labor Day Travel

Analysis shows more than 460 people may die on U.S. roadways Sept. 3-6; taking precautions can prevent these deaths.

August 25, 2021

Itasca, IL –The National Safety Council encourages every vehicle owner to put safety first when coordinating late-summer travel. This is a time when many Americans will be taking road trips with their families and driving more often for the back-to-school season. NSC estimates that over 460 people may die on the roads during the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend. This year’s holiday fatality estimate is 19% higher than the 2020 Labor Day estimate of 390. Following a year with increased motor vehicle fatality rates across the country, NSC urges all Americans to proactively maintain the condition of their vehicles and practice safe driving.

Some important safety precautions to take include limiting distractions when driving, driving the speed limit, wearing a seat belt, not driving impaired, checking the oil level and inflating vehicle tires to appropriate levels. Another vital precaution for drivers to take is checking their vehicle for open safety recalls and, if necessary, scheduling their free repair as soon as possible.

“During this late-summer season, Americans will be driving at an increased rate, so it’s important to make sure the vehicle you’re driving is as safe as possible,” said Mark Chung, vice president, roadway practice, at NSC. “We encourage everyone to take two minutes this week to check their vehicles for recalls. You may not know if you and your loved ones are at risk until you check.”   

In the United States, over 50 million vehicles have unrepaired safety recalls, and many of those recalls involve defective parts that can pose serious risks to drivers or passengers. According to NHTSA, more than 13.5 million airbags in the U.S. are defective and still in need of repair. When exposed to the high heat and humidity that many states experience during the summer, these air bags can go from lifesaving devices to life-threatening devices. In the event of a crash, metal fragments can shoot out of the airbag, seriously injuring or even killing the driver or passengers.

Any vehicle owner can learn whether they have an open recall by visiting CheckToProtect.org and entering their license plate or 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number found on the driver’s side dash, inside the driver’s door, on registration documents or on one’s insurance card. Another option for vehicle owners is to text “RECALL” to 99724 – or, for Spanish speakers, text “REVISA” to 99724 – and snap a picture of the license plate when prompted. 

All recalls are free to have repaired at authorized dealers, regardless of whether the owner purchased the vehicle from the dealer or takes it there for regular service. For more information on safety recalls, visit CheckToProtect.org.

About Check to Protect
Check to Protect is a coalition led by the National Safety Council to encourage drivers to check the recall status of their vehicle and have open recalls fixed immediately to protect the ones they love.  

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for over 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

Partner with NSC

With a century-long legacy, the National Safety Council is a global center for safety expertise. Let's work together to align resources. We look forward to learning about ways we can join efforts to expand safety everywhere!

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