The National Transport Safety Agency, within the U.S. Department of Transportation, sets and enforces safety performance standards for motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, such as regulating fuel economy standards. NHTSA also conducts local highway safety programs. Under the U.S. Department of Transportation umbrella, the Federal Highway Administration administers federal highway programs in partnership with state and local agencies to promote highway safety and technological excellence.

While motor vehicle laws vary from state to state, there are defenses to a violation of motor vehicle laws. For example, a driver's license is usually required to operate a motor vehicle. Defendants that contest a charge of violating a motor vehicle law must complete required probationary periods and may argue justification or necessity if accused of violating motor vehicle laws.

The field of Motor Vehicle Law involves working with traffic violations, DUI/DWI, and other different types of legal matters that affect motorists daily. Most motorists have had an occasion where they need to go outside of the law to ensure their safety.