The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) originated with the Air Commerce Act of 1926.
With the legislation, Congress empowered the U.S. Department of Commerce to investigate aircraft crashes. Later, that responsibility was given to the Civil Aeronautics Board’s Bureau of Aviation Safety following its creation in 1940.
In 1967, Congress consolidated transportation agencies into the Department of Transportation (DOT). It also established the NTSB as an independent agency within the DOT.
In creating the NTSB, Congress foresaw a single organization with a clearly defined mission that could more effectively promote safety in the transportation system than the individual modal agencies working separately.
Since 1967, the NTSB has investigated aviation, highway, marine, pipeline, and railroad mishaps. It also proves accidents related to the transportation of hazardous materials.