Welcome to JustAnswer.com! My name is DriveFast71(Ron) and I will do my best to answer all of your questions completely and accurately.
When the check engine light comes on, the TRAC light is also set, which turns this system off. This is a self-preservation mechanism, in case the reason the engine light is on can harm or effect the Trac system. So- fix the reason why the engine light is on, and the Trac system will come back online.
When the Check Engine light comes on, this is the on-board computer's way of telling you it sees a problem in one of the monitored systems. Unfortunately, there are litterally 100's of parts and sensors monitored in various systems, and to take a "guess" as to which part/sensor in which system is faulty, is virtually impossible. However, if you are not experiencing any drivability issues such as skipping, stalling, shifting problems, etc, then more than likely, the problem is going to lie in the EVAP (emissions) system. Very commonly, this could be a faulty, loose or missing fuel cap or even putting fuel in while the vehicle is running. Check the cap for any cracks in the rubber o-ring on the underside. Check the fuel filler neck for any signs of chips or debris. If these all check out, then the best thing to do at this point is to have the "p-codes" read from the on-board computer. These p-codes are what is used as a "starting point" for the diagnosis and will tell which part/sensor in which system has the fault. There isn't a Mechanic on the planet that can tell you what is wrong with the vehicle just by "looking" at the Engine Light. Every single Mechanic's first course of action WILL be to obtain the p-codes. Once you get these p-codes you can more accurately and efficiently diagnose the problem and then make the repair. You can have these p-codes read FREE (except in California) at any local "big chain" part store (ie. AutoZone, PepBoys, Advanced, etc). If you still need help after retrieving the codes, you can bring them here, and any of our Techs can walk you through the diagnostic procedure, and then even help you make the repair if you feel confident enough to try.
So- as long as you are not experiencing any drivability issues, it is safe to drive the vehicle. However, I would definitely recommend having the p-codes read, just for peace of mind.