If you drive a General Motors vehicle, you’ve probably been glued to the news for updates on the latest recall. You know your car wasn’t one of the models affected, but just to be safe, you’ve told your teenager to take Summit Street instead of Route 71 to summer classes until you’re sure there’s nothing to fear. After all, even if your car isn’t on the recall list, you want to keep you and your family as far away from danger as possible.

Unfortunately, the number of vehicles that have been recalled due to design defects is not only on the rise—it’s the highest it’s ever been in years.

Sheer Number of Recalls Affects Odds of a Crash in 2014

Even if your vehicle has been cleared from danger, there are many more reasons you are likely to suffer a crash with a recalled vehicle, including:

More recalls than cars sold.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the U.S. auto industry recalled nearly a third more vehicles than it sold to consumers in 2013. Over 22 million vehicles had some sort of flaw or defect that posed a danger to drivers, increasing recalls by 25 percent—the highest rate since 2004.

Problems across the board.

While GM and Toyota recalls have dominated the news, hundreds of thousands of vehicles across many different automakers have been affected. Even high-end automakers such as Lotus, Rolls-Royce, and Lamborghini have issued at least one recall in the last two years.

Crying wolf.

Consumers are so used to seeing recalls, they are actually less likely to respond to them. According to used-car search company Carfax, over 3.5 million used cars listed online last year were subject to recall. Company estimates suggest that as many as one in ten used cars for sale online has one or more open recalls.

In many cases, people who own recalled vehicles are unaware of the danger. They may have not heard the news or assumed that the recall notice they were sent was just another piece of junk mail. One easy way drivers can check their vehicle for recalls is by visiting the NHTSA database at safercar.org and entering their VIN number (located on the title or the driver’s side door jamb). Make sure you share this article with your friends and family on Facebook or Google+, just to make sure everyone you know stays safe!

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.