The Office of Highway Safety investigates crashes that have significant safety implications nationwide, highlight national safety issues, involve the loss of numerous lives, or generate high interest because of emerging technologies or their circumstances. Such investigations may focus on collapses of bridges spanning roadways or tunnel structures, mass casualties and injuries on public transportation vehicles (such as motorcoaches and school buses), and collisions at highway–railroad grade crossings. This office also investigates crashes that involve new safety issues or technologies (such as automated vehicles and alternatively fueled vehicles), and develops special reports based on trends emerging from NTSB investigations and from research and data that identify common risks or underlying causes of crashes, injuries, and fatalities.
The Investigations Division
The Investigations Division is comprised of investigative teams, each led by an investigator-in-charge. Each team is formed by investigators that specialize in human performance, highway factors, vehicle factors, survival factors, and commercial motor carrier operations, and augmented by a technical crash reconstructionist as necessity dictates. Team members are distributed throughout the country to enhance geographic coverage and reduce response times.
The Report Development Division
The Report Development Division is responsible for researching and developing national highway safety issues and managing the development of the final investigation reports and safety recommendations. The division is also responsible for managing public hearings related to ongoing accident investigations and forums or other venues designed to make the public more aware of highway safety issues.
Both the Investigations and Report Development Divisions provide presentations on significant Office of Highway Safety topics to a variety of audiences to further educate and implement critical safety improvements.