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Notice

Technical Report on Fatalities in Frontal Crashes Despite Seat Belts and Air Bags

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 notice announces NHTSA's publication of a Technical Report reviewing and evaluating the performance in frontal crashes of air-bag-equipped, late-model passenger cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and vans and the protection they offer to drivers and front-seat passengers who wear seat belts. The report's title is: Fatalities in Frontal Crashes Despite Seat Belts and Air Bags.

DATES:

Comments must be received no later than February 18, 2010.

ADDRESSES:

Report: The technical report is available on the Internet for viewing on line in PDF format at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/​Pubs/​811102.PDF. You may obtain a copy of the report free of charge by sending a self-addressed mailing label to Charles J. Kahane (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-2009-0168] 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 am and 5 pm 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:

Charles J. Kahane, Chief, Evaluation Start Printed Page 54119Division, NVS-431, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Room W53-312, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: 202-366-2560. E-mail: chuck.kahane@dot.gov.

For information about NHTSA's evaluations of the effectiveness of existing regulations and programs: You may see a list of published evaluation reports at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/​cats/​listpublications.aspx?​Id=​226&​ShowBy=​Category and if you click on any report you will be able to view it in PDF format.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Why are people still dying in frontal crashes despite seat belt use, air bags, and the crashworthy structures of late-model vehicles? Statistical analyses show the combination of seat belt use and air bags is highly effective, reducing fatality risk by 61 percent compared to an unbelted occupant of a vehicle not equipped with air bags—but 61 percent is not 100 percent. To address the question, an interdisciplinary NHTSA team reviewed every case of a frontal fatality to a belted driver or right-front passenger in a model year 2000 or newer vehicle in the Crashworthiness Data System (CDS) of the National Automotive Sampling System through calendar year 2007. Aside from a substantial proportion of these 122 crashes that are just exceedingly severe, the main reason people are still dying is because so many crashes involve poor structural engagement between the vehicle and its collision partner: corner impacts, oblique crashes, impacts with narrow objects, and underrides. By contrast, few if any of these 122 fatal crashes were full-frontal or offset-frontal impacts with good structural engagement, unless the crashes were of extreme severity or the occupants exceptionally vulnerable.

Procedural Matters

How Can I Influence NHTSA's Thinking on This Subject?

NHTSA welcomes public review of the evaluation plan and invites the reviewers to comment about the selection, priority, and schedule of the regulations to be evaluated. The agency is interested in learning of any additional data that may be useful in the evaluations. NHTSA will submit to the Docket a response to the comments and, if appropriate, will supplement or revise the evaluation plan.

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-2009-0168) 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 Charles J. Kahane, Chief, 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 chuck.kahane@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 submission, 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. E9-25271 Filed 10-20-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P