The Highway Transportation System (HTS)
People, vehicles and roadways are all part of the Highway Transportation System (HTS), a complex system designed to move people, equipment, and supplies safely and efficiently from one place to another.
Simple neighborhood lanes, complex superhighways, and every kind of street in between make up approximately 4 million miles of roadway that link every state, county, city, and town in America. Every day, these roads are traveled by more than 180 million people driving, riding, or walking. Spread out evenly, that’s over 45 people per mile. Of course, we know that some roads are traveled more heavily than others. With so much traffic in so little space traveling at speeds up to 75 miles per hour, you might expect a few collisions-and you will find them. In a given year, any driver stands a 1 in 9 chance of being in a collision. A safe driver must learn how to interact with various types of drivers in various types of vehicles on a variety of different roadways; and to do so without collisions, traffic violations, or near misses. Before examining how a driver is to drive safely, let’s look at how roadways are designed to keep drivers and passengers safe.
The HTS is regulated jointly by federal, state, and local governments. The federal government sets minimum standards by which all state and local governments must abide. State and local governments that follow these guidelines receive federal funding to maintain certain aspects of the HTS. Federal laws also establish state rights regarding driver and roadway safety. One such law is the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires vehicle manufacturers to include certain safety features like safety belts or shatterproof glass in their vehicles.