More than 50 million vehicles on the road today have open recalls, and for inexperienced teen drivers these can be a major safety risk.
Whether the recall is for an airbag, a seatbelt or even the windshield wipers, driving a recalled vehicle can increase your chance of a crash or your risk of injury in a crash. The good news is that recalls can be repaired or replaced for free at a dealer, but many drivers may not even know when their car is under recall. Before your teen gets behind the wheel, teach him or her how to find this out.
The National Safety Council has partnered with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to launch Check to Protect, a website aimed at urging drivers to regularly check and see if their vehicles have any open recalls – and if they do, to have them repaired right away. You can teach your teen driver to do the same using his or her VIN.
A VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is a 17-digit unique identifier for each vehicle. Your teen can find his or hers in several places: inside the driver’s side door, on the driver’s side interior dash or on the vehicle registration. Oftentimes, insurance documents also list the VIN.
Once your teen has the car’s VIN, he or she can enter it at ChecktoProtect.org to look for open recalls. If the car has a recall, this is a good opportunity to teach your teen how to get it repaired by calling a local dealer and scheduling an appointment. If it doesn’t have a recall, it’s still a good lesson for your teen to learn; vehicle safety is all about staying aware of the car’s condition and getting repairs done before they turn into even bigger problems.