Things To Know About Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standards

Various vehicles and drivers with different attitudes use roads every day. Every country has set rules and regulations regarding the standards of vehicles, and such rules help promote road safety. In the United States, the federal government mandates the Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standards to inspect and ensure that motor vehicles meet the minimum safety standards to reduce accidents and injuries caused by faulty vehicles. In this guide, we shall examine the FMVSS and try to enlighten you on what you should know about this body.

Many or few have heard of FMVSS but have little or no interest in knowing more about it. Wait, the day you will be in dire need of importing a vehicle, you will have to interact with FMVSS.

The U.S Department of Transport is wide, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulates the FMVSS and works in the DOT. The FMVSS works closely with the United Nations regulations, which the World Forum developed for the Harmonization of vehicle regulations.

Different FMVSS Safety Categories You Should Know

In 1967, FMVSS enacted the first vehicle law, and such laws are regularly updated to accommodate the revolutions in the motor industry. Recently, electric cars were introduced, and FMVSS has created regulations regarding electric vehicles. The safety stress by FMVSS range from the design, components, and system of your vehicle. The body focuses on safety, from your car’s brakes to the interior design. 

The safety standards are in three main divisions; crash avoidance, crashworthiness, and post-crash survivability.

Crash Avoidance Standards

This category comprises features a vehicle should have to control/avoid the crush. Such features are essential to prevent your vehicle from crashing. Let us look at some of those features.

The Braking System, the FMVSS, will check the effectiveness of the anti-lock braking system, the air brakes, and the electric brakes.

Reflective devices and lamps, lamps, and reflectors are life savers on the roads, improving visibility.

Tires and rims, bad tires, and rims cause vehicle crashes. The FMVSS checks if the vehicle tires are standard and the pressure monitoring system is effective.


FMVSS focuses on passenger safety when a crash occurs. If a crash occurs, the occupants should survive injuries that might result from the vehicle’s interior, such as the steering wheel, airbags failure, and the seatbelt. This category focuses on; interior impact protection, steering control system, side-impact passenger protection, and the seat belt system. They mainly major in interior safety. 

Post–Crash Survivability

Checking the possibility of surviving after a crash is necessary. Some vehicles catch fire after a crash. If an occupant survives the crash, they should also survive the fire. FMVSS checks on the possibility of survival after a crash in this category. The FMVSS checks on; Fuel system integrity, how flammable the interior materials are, and electric-powered vehicles. 


The Federal Motorvehicle Safety Standards ensure that vehicles imported to the united states and those manufactured in the U.S. meets the minimum safety requirements. The safety requirements are put to reduce road accidents and minimize injuries if a crash occurs. Since its creation, it has performed its roles efficiently and reduced road deaths.

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