Are you planning on hitting the road when Labor Day arrives on Monday, Sept. 6, or before?

The National Safety Council is encouraging 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.

Scary Stats

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 seatbelt, 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 airbags 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, according to a news release.

Any vehicle owner can learn whether they have an open recall by visiting the website of the NSC-led Check To Protect campaign,, and entering their license plate or 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN can be found on the driver’s side dash, inside the driver’s door, on registration documents, or 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 take it there for regular service. For more information on safety recalls, visit

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.

The National Safety Council is a nonprofit safety advocate that has been around for more than 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.

Source: National Safety Council