Car accidents are one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in the United States of America. This is a tragic situation because each life lost in an automobile accident, is a death that could have been avoided. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was founded under the mission to “save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce vehicle-related crashes.” Today, we will be learning a little more about this organization and about what it does to keep us safe on the road.

History of the NHTSA

From 1964-1966 there was a large spike in accident related fatalities. This placed an immense amount of public pressure on the United States’ government to increase public safety. One of the first steps Congress took to improve national safety was to make seatbelts mandatory in cars. The next step was the establishment of the NHTSA in 1970 through the Highway Safety Act. The NHTSA performed major studies in attempt to reduce automobile related deaths per-capita, as well as the number of crashes and automobile related injuries.

Regulations of the NHTSA

NHTSA has been successful in its attempt to increase highway safety and to decrease accident related deaths. You may be wondering how exactly have they accomplished this? After conducting studies through many major research programs, the NHTSA enforces safety regulations using the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards which has been set forth in the United States Code of Federal Regulations. These standards touch on many things, for example, the standard of crashworthiness. Vehicle manufacturers must uphold the crashworthiness standards enforced by the NHTSA. This standard has been one of the most important factors in reducing vehicle related deaths.