A branch of the of the US Federal Government under the Department of Transportation. The NHTSA was created be that Highway Safety Act of 1970, to replace the National Highway Safety Bureau. The NHTSA sets and enforces safety standards for automobiles and equipment, investigates defects in motor vehicles, and studies traffic safety.
The NHTSA studies all auto accidents involving a fatality to the minute detail. It is through these statistics that motor vehicle deaths have been reduced dramatically over the years. Many innovations in traffic safety have been prompted by study and then enforcement by this agency.