Initiatives to address vehicle compatibility
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Initiatives to address vehicle compatibility

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    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the national and international leader in collecting and analyzing motor vehicle crash data, and in developing countermeasures relevant to preventing and mitigating vehicle crashes, thereby reducing and preventing resulting fatalities and traumatic injury. This report presents an in-depth look at one of the most significant safety issues impacting highway safety and the success of NHTSA's mission - vehicle compatibility. In its broadest sense, vehicle compatibility can be defined as the ability to create conditions making roads, roadside hardware, and vehicles well matched to safely transport motorists. Compatibility encompasses human behavior, crash avoidance, and crashworthiness components. Before a crash, behavioral issues and crash avoidance factors lead to incompatibilities among vehicles. During a vehicle collision, compatibility is determined by the energy management and encompassed by the relative mass, geometry, and structural stiffness characteristics of the collision partners. This document describes the safety problem represented by vehicle incompatibility and provides strategies the agency plans to pursue in improving vehicle compatibility, thereby saving lives. References, 26 pages.
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