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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC) is a federal research facility. Staff at VRTC conduct research and vehicle testing in support of NHTSA's mission to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce traffic-related health care and other economic costs. Research performed covers the areas of Crash Avoidance, Crash Worthiness, and Biomechanics. These research and development activities produce safer vehicles through improved vehicle performance, improved occupant protection systems, improved structural integrity of vehicles, increased understanding of driver behavior, and the use of intelligent systems to enhance drivers' ability to avoid crashes and travel safely. VRTC also conducts investigations into potential safety related defects in motor vehicles in support of the Office of Defects Investigation.

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Pedestrian and Applied Biomechanics Division

Biomechanics, occupant protection, & crash dummy research, development, and evaluation.

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Vehicle Stability and Control Division (Crash Avoidance)

Vehicle handling, light vehicle brake systems, vehicle dynamics simulation, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), driver behavior, & heavy truck research


Defects Analysis and Crashworthiness Division

Vehicle structural integrity, crash tests, occupant protection, & automotive defects investigations