This is a report on the activities of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, as amended, and the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act of 1972, as amended. The report is for the period January 1, 1991 through December 31, 1991. During this period, NHTSA continued its policy of addressing highway safety through a balanced approach, concentrating on solutions involving both the vehicle and driver. In 1991, NHTSA designed programs to yield a reduction in fatalities, injuries, and economic loss that result from motor vehicle accidents in the most effective and efficient manner. Resources were directed to those activities with the most realistic prospects of success and with the maximum safety gains per dollar invested. The 1991 fatality rate of 1.9 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is the lowest in U.S. history. Under the phase-in requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208 ("Occupant Protection"), all passenger cars built after September 1, 1989, were equipped with automatic crash protection (e.g., air bags and automatic safety belts). About 2,850,000 model year (MY) 1991 cars were equipped with air bags. By MY 1993, estimated production levels for vehicles equipped with air bags will reach 4 to 5 million annually. The agency continued to inform and educate the American people about the benefits of manual safety belts, air bags, and automatic safety belts. Research and rulemaking efforts to improve motor vehicle safety technology emphasized crash avoidance and occupant protection. Crash avoidance priorities included lighting, mirror systems, brakes (particularly for light and heavy-duty trucks), rollover stability, and international harmonization of safety regulations. Occupant crash protection efforts emphasized improved protection in side impacts, rollovers (and other efforts to prevent ejections), and school buses. It also included efforts to prevent injuries to pedestrians when struck by motor vehicles. The enforcement of Federal laws, standards, and regulations governing motor vehicles is one NHTSA's most important safety responsibilities. Emphasis continued to be placed on quickly and accurately identifying safety-related defects and noncompliances with safety standards, and to ensure they are corrected in the shortest possible time. There were 182 new safety defect investigations in 1991.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 70 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00719487
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-808 001
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 26 1996 12:00AM