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Technical Report on the Effectiveness of Amber Rear Turn Signals for Reducing Rear Impacts

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation.

ACTION:

Request for comments on technical report.

SUMMARY:

This purpose of this report is to determine the effect of rear turn signal color on the likelihood of being involved in a rear-end crash. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 allows rear turn signals to be either red or amber in color. The primary conclusion is that amber rear turn signals are 5.3% more effective than red rear turn signals at preventing involvement in crashes where a careful driver would typically use the turn signals. The result is shown to be statistically significant and consistent with other published analyses on the influence of rear turn signal color.

DATES:

Comments must be received no later than September 6, 2009

ADDRESSES:

Report: The technical report is available on the Internet for viewing in PDF format at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/​Pubs/​811115.PDF. You may obtain a copy of the report free of charge by sending a self-addressed mailing label to Kirk Allen (NVS-431), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.

Comments: You may submit comments [identified by Docket Number NHTSA-2009-0095] by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, M-30, U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.
  • Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

You may call Docket Management at 202-366-9826.

Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments, see the Procedural Matters section of this document. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kirk Allen, Statistician, Evaluation Division, NVS-431, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Room W53-457, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: 202-366-9308. E-mail: kirk.allen@dot.gov.

For information about NHTSA's evaluations of the effectiveness of existing regulations and programs: Visit the NHTSA Web site at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov and click “NCSA” near the upper right corner on the home page; then click “Regulatory Evaluation” under “Browse Topics” on the “NCSA” page.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 allows rear turn signals to be either red or amber in color. Previous work on this subject includes laboratory experiments and analyses of crash data that suggest amber rear turn signals are beneficial. The present study was designed around the concept of “switch pairs”—make-models of passenger vehicles were identified that had switched rear turn signal color, and crash involvement rates were computed before and after the switch. This method should control for extraneous factors related to vehicle and driver characteristics. Crash data from NHTSA's State Data System was used in the analysis. The principal finding of the report is that amber signals show a 5.3% effectiveness in reducing involvement in two-vehicle crashes where a lead vehicle is rear-struck in the act of turning left, turning right, merging into traffic, changing lanes, or entering/leaving a parking space. The advantage of amber rear turn signals is shown to be statistically significant.

Procedural Matters

How can I influence NHTSA's thinking on this subject?

NHTSA welcomes public review of the technical report. NHTSA will submit to the Docket a response to the comments and, if appropriate, will supplement or revise the report.

How do I prepare and submit comments?

Your comments must be written and in English. To ensure that your comments are correctly filed in the Docket, please include the Docket number of this document (NHTSA-2009-0095) in your comments.

Your primary comments must not be more than 15 pages long (49 CFR 553.21). However, you may attach additional documents to your primary comments. There is no limit on the length of the attachments.

Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477) or you may visit http://regulations.gov.

Please send two paper copies of your comments to Docket Management, fax them, or use the Federal eRulemaking Portal. The mailing address is U. S. Department of Transportation, Docket Management Facility, M-30, West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. The fax number is 1-202-493-2251. To use the Federal eRulemaking Portal, go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

We also request, but do not require you to send a copy to Kirk Allen, Statistician, Evaluation Division, NVS-431, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Room W53-312, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590 (or e-mail them to kirk.allen@dot.gov). He can check if your comments have been received at the Docket and he can expedite their review by NHTSA.

How can I be sure that my comments were received?

If you wish Docket Management to notify you upon its receipt of your comments, enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the envelope containing your comments. Upon receiving your comments, Docket Management will return the postcard by mail.

How do I submit confidential business information?

If you wish to submit any information under a claim of confidentiality, send three copies of your complete Start Printed Page 21851submission, including the information you claim to be confidential business information, to the Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. Include a cover letter supplying the information specified in our confidential business information regulation (49 CFR Part 512).

In addition, send two copies from which you have deleted the claimed confidential business information to U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Management Facility, M-30, West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, or submit them via the Federal eRulemaking Portal.

Will the agency consider late comments?

In our response, we will consider all comments that Docket Management receives before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated above under DATES. To the extent possible, we will also consider comments that Docket Management receives after that date.

Please note that even after the comment closing date, we will continue to file relevant information in the Docket as it becomes available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, we recommend that you periodically check the Docket for new material.

How can I read the comments submitted by other people?

You may read the materials placed in the docket for this document (e.g., the comments submitted in response to this document by other interested persons) at any time by going to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets. You may also read the materials at the Docket Management Facility by going to the street address given above under ADDRESSES. The Docket Management Facility is open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30111, 30168; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50 and 501.8.

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James F. Simons,

Director, Office of Regulatory Analysis and Evaluation.

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[FR Doc. E9-10858 Filed 5-8-09; 8:45 am]

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