Safety Holiday safety Driving

NSC forecasts a spike in roadway deaths this Labor Day weekend


Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation Flickr

| Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation Flickr

Itasca, IL — The National Safety Council is anticipating a much more deadly Labor Day weekend on the nation’s roads this year.

NSC estimates that 460 people could be killed – an 18% increase from last year’s estimate of 390. This reflects the overall increase in motor vehicle-related deaths so far this year as travel returns to more normal levels during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also estimating that 53,100 people (up from last year’s estimate of 44,000) could be seriously injured over the holiday weekend – which begins at 6 p.m. on Sept. 3 and extends to 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 6 – NSC is urging all roadway users to practice safe driving and proactively maintain the condition of their vehicle.

“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 of 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”

More than 50 million vehicles have unrepaired safety recalls, according to the council, and many involve defective parts that can pose serious safety risks to occupants. For instance, NSC cites National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data that shows more than 13.5 million airbags in the United States are defective and still in need of repair.

Other tips from NSC to stay safe on the roads: limit distractions while driving , obey the posted speed limit, wear your seat belt, don’t drive impaired, check your vehicle’s oil level and inflate your vehicle’s tires to manufacturer-recommended levels.