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The U.S. Department of Transportation is an important part of the infrastructure system in the country. The DOT doesn’t cover only automobiles but public transportation, railroads, and roads. Waterways, bridges, and trucking are also included. Car safety and aviation are also included under the DOT umbrella.

What are the duties of the Department of Transportation?

The U.S. Department of Transportation helps keep roads safe
The U.S. Department of Transportation helps make roads safer for drivers | Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Department of Transportation website has all kinds of information like vehicle recalls, safety ratings, road safety, and vehicle technology.

“To improve the quality of life for all American people and communities, from rural to urban, and to increase the productivity and competitiveness of American workers and businesses.”

U.S. Department of Transportation

The agency is responsible for maintaining the country’s road infrastructure and various modes of transportation. This covers all transportation forms like busses, trains, cars, ships, and planes.

One of the lesser-known responsibilities is the University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program. The program helps offer grants to various university programs around the country. After that, the students attend a two or four-year school.

By offering students state-of-the-art transportation schooling, the company has a line of new transportation professionals right out of college.

The DOT also offers grants to help build safer and more efficient roads for people. In 2021, a new grant was established called Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE).

This UTC program has awarded over $8 billion in grants for projects in the U.S., D.C., and Puerto Rico since 2019. These opportunities create jobs and make our roads safer.

What doesn’t the DOT cover?

Often, individual state governments will cover a large part of the process. The DOT helps collaborate and offer funds for new infrastructure. This is especially applicable to large areas or areas that span more than one state.

However, the Transportation Department covers airline and airport regulations. Similarly, the Federal Aviation Administration is a section of the DOT that covers other aviation issues.

A program called the Build America Bureau works with the Department of Transportation to help fund projects. The Bureau helps coordinate between states and other sponsors who need funding from the DOT.

However, many departments work together to keep drivers safe.

What does the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration do?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is an essential part of driving and automobiles. If car safety is important to you, the NHTSA is an important part of that.

The company’s mission statement is to “Save lives, prevent injuries and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards, and enforcement activity.” In other words, the NHTSA and the DOT work together for safety.

In 1970, the company set forth to reduce deaths and injuries on the road from automobile accidents. In 1978, the NHTSA started testing and rating vehicles using test dummies.

The NHTSA formed the five-star safety rating system in 1993 to help consumers make more informed decisions when buying a car.

As time progressed, the NHTSA started doing more comprehensive crash testing. In conclusion, the NHSTA continues to grow and evolve to make driving safer for drivers and passengers.


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