National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA] Law and Legal Definition

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) is an executive branch of the U.S government. The NHTSA works as a part of the department of transportation. The mission of the NHTSA is to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce vehicle related crashes. It also enforces safety, theft resistance, and fuel economy standards for motor vehicles.


1. Investigates safety defects in motor vehicles;

2. Sets and enforces fuel economy standards;

3. Helps states and local communities reduce the threat of drunk drivers;

4. Promotes the use of safety belts, child safety seats and air bags;

5. Investigates odometer fraud;

6. Establishes and enforces vehicle anti-theft regulations;

7. Provides consumer information on motor vehicle safety topics;

8. Conducts research on driver behavior and traffic safety;

9. License vehicle manufacturers and importers; and

10. Permits or restricts the import of vehicles and safety- regulated vehicle parts.