NHTSA: Who They Are and What They Do

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is an organization established in 1970 by the Highway Safety Act.  It is dedicated to achieving the highest standards in motor vehicle and highway safety possible.  Its primary goals are to help prevent highway crashes.  Its stated mission is to “Save lives, prevent injuries, reduce vehicle-related crashes.”  So, who is the NHTSA and what do they do?

Some of the primary activities of the NHTSA

NHTSA has the responsibility of writing and enforcing the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, along with other important regulations.  It also issues licenses to vehicle manufacturers and vehicle importers, including blocking the import of certain vehicles and vehicle parts that may not meet our safety standards.  NHTSA administers all of the VIN (vehicle identification numbers) for our vehicles and develops the “crash test” dummies used in safety testing, as well as the testing protocols.  One of the most important activities, though, is the creation and maintenance of the data files maintained by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis. Their involvement in this data is a crucial contribution to research on traffic and vehicle safety in our country and beyond.

The principal goals of NHTSA

As NHTSA is responsible for doing all it can to reduce the number of deaths, injuries and economic losses that result from motor vehicle crashes, part of that goal requires establishing and enforcing safety performance standards for motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment.  NHTSA also conducts investigations into the safety defects in motor vehicles, promotes the use of safety belts, child safety seats, airbags and other safety measures. Through its extensive research, NHTSA provides statistics regarding driver behavior and traffic safety in order to develop the most efficient and effective methods of improving overall vehicle safety.

If you have questions regarding auto accidents, or any other personal injury matters, please contact the experienced attorneys at Means Gillis Law, PC, either online or by calling toll free 1-844-870-1777.

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