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Vehicle Transportation Safety Agencies

Arriving at your destination safely is the most important part of travel! Several governmental and quasi-governmental agencies are charged with helping consumers on this mission, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA,, the National Transportation Safety Board ( and the National Defense Transportation Association (, the latetr of which sponsors National Transportation Week.

NHTSA is part of the department of transportation. NHTSA is responsible for activities such as creating and enforcing vehicle safety standards, creating rules and regulations for motor vehicle theft resistance and fuel economy, licensing vehicle manufacturers and importers, administering the vehicle identification number (VIN) system, providing vehicle insurance cost data and for the famous "crash test dummies" safety testing, part of which includes maintaining the worldwide FARS system (the Fatality Analysis Reporting System) (FARS).

Given the high cost of gas, NHTSA's CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) rankings are especially use and important to consumers. According to Wikipedia, a recent release of CAFE rankings reveals the following:

Corporate Average Fuel Economy
Toyota29.69 miles per US gallon
Honda29.47 miles per US gallon
Hyundai29.39 miles per US gallon
Kia28.44 miles per US gallon
Subaru28.11 miles per US gallon
Nissan27.64 miles per US gallon
VW27.38 miles per US gallon
Suzuki27.08 miles per US gallon
BMW26.76 miles per US gallon
Mitsubishi26.67 miles per US gallon
GM25.16 miles per US gallon
Ford25.15 miles per US gallon
Daimler Chrysler23.97 miles per US gallon

NHTSA's recall and defect database, maintained here, is another benchmark for important data and research it provides to consumers. Be sure to check this FREE database prior to purchasing any used cars.

The NTSB is government agency responsible for all types of civil travel accident investigation and reports on aviation incidents, many types of highway crashes, maritime accidents, and accidents involving the rails. Perhaps most important aspect of the Board's duties is making safety recommendations and when asked to do so, the NTSB will also participate in military accident investigations.

The NDTA sponsors National Defense Transportation Day and operates pursuant to 36 U.S.C. § 120. Pursuant to presidential authority, this day is to recognize the various forms of transportation and to recognize the importance, to each community, of the United States' transportation system, to maintain facilities in the most modern state and to serve the needs of our citizens in times of peace and in national defense. You can learn more about National Transportation Week at here.

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