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Our Mission: Safety

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NHTSA works to reduce deaths and injuries due to motor vehicle crashes. We do this by advancing innovations that make vehicles safer and by encouraging Americans to make safer choices when they drive, ride and walk. Our goal: An America free from deaths and injuries in motor vehicle-related crashes. Our commitment to safety means including all who share the road—drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike. And it means harnessing the skills and knowledge of a talented and diverse workforce.

Driven By Safety

America is at its best when it draws upon the talents of Americans of all backgrounds. For NHTSA to best serve the safety needs of the public, we require a strongly diverse workforce of professionals from a broad range of work experiences and educational backgrounds. The diversity of our workforce reflects the wide variety of career opportunities at NHTSA.

Our Jobs: Variety of Opportunities

NHTSA’s employees work in a variety of occupations—from testing vehicles, keeping car buyers informed and fighting to get vehicles with defects recalled, to working with local police to keep drunk drivers off the road and enforce safety laws. But there’s one thing all of these occupations have in common: at NHTSA our job is saving lives.
Some examples of our career fields include:

  • Data analysis 
  • Crash investigation 
  • Crash testing 
  • Driving simulation research 
  • Safety Technology Design 

Join us in helping to save lives. Search for current NHTSA jobs and learn about what NHTSA does to achieve its mission.

What We Do

To accomplish our mission of reducing deaths and injuries due to motor vehicle crashes, NHTSA:

Helps make vehicles safer

  • Conducts research on how vehicle improvements and other technological advances can better protect people in a crash and reduce the likelihood of crashes.
  • Ensures the safety of vehicles and drives innovation by setting safety standards for vehicles under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).
  • Works to keep vehicles and certain vehicle equipment with safety-related defects off our roads.

Encourages safer choices on the road

  • Provides grants to state highway safety agencies to solve their unique highway safety challenges.
  • Works with state and local law enforcement to ensure we all obey the rules of the road.
  • Teams with other safety partners to address specific safety challenges, such as drunk and distracted driving.
  • Educates Americans about dangerous driving behaviors and things they can do to protect themselves and others.
  • Conducts research, demonstrations, and evaluations programs related to driver, passenger, motorcyclist, bicyclist, and pedestrian behavior.


  • Sets and enforces Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to make vehicles more fuel efficient 
  • Enforces prohibitions against odometer fraud and helps to prevent auto theft
  • Supports Local Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
  • Collects crash data, analyzes traffic safety problems, and measures effectiveness of safety efforts.