While many consumers may be familiar with the governmental agencies responsible for food safety (FDA), and consumer products (CPSC), you may not have heard of NHTSA, and how it can help you.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), was created by the Highway Safety Act of 1970. It is responsible for directing highway safety and consumer programs established by the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, the Highway Safety Act of 1966, the 1972 Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act, and the various amendments succeeding to these laws.

The main goal of NHTSA is to prevent crashes, both from the human casualty standpoint, and the financial impact. You can find more specific information about what the NHTSA does here.

NHTSA is particularly helpful for anyone who owns, leases, or decides to rent a car. In addition to offering information about the latest recalls (in a user friendly searchable format), they also offer resources such as:

Also, be sure to check out the related site SaferCar.gov, which offers a wide variety about how to select and drive a car more safely. It offers articles on topics such as making sure your child has the right car seat, how to drive 15 passenger vans more carefully, etc. You can even sign up for email alerts for recalls related to your vehicle.