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Notice

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Rear Impact Guards; Rear Impact Protection; Technical Report, on the Effectiveness of Underride Guards for Heavy Trailers

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 notice announces NHTSA's publication of a Technical Report, its existing Safety Standard 223, Rear Impact Guards and Safety Standard 224, Rear Impact Protection. The report's title is: The Effectiveness of Underride Guards for Heavy Trailers.

DATES:

Comments must be received no later than March 8, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

Report: The technical report is available on the Internet for viewing in PDF format at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/​Pubs/​811375.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, Room W53-312, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.

Comments: You may submit comments [identified by Docket Number NHTSA-2010-0150] 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:

Charles J. Kahane, Chief, Evaluation Division, 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:

Safety Standards 223 (49 CFR 571.223) and 224 (49 CFR 571.224) require underride guards meeting a strength test on trailers with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or greater manufactured on or after January 24, 1998. Safety Standard 224 defines the size requirements for the guards, while Safety Standard 223 describes strength testing and energy absorption requirements for DOT-compliant guards. This report is a statistical analysis of crash data aimed at determining the effectiveness of standard-compliant underride guards at preventing fatalities and serious injuries in crashes where a passenger vehicle impacts the rear of a Start Printed Page 68664tractor-trailer. The primary findings are the following:

  • Data from Florida and North Carolina showed decreases in fatalities and serious injuries to passenger vehicle occupants when rear-ending a tractor-trailer subsequent to the implementation of Safety Standards 223 and 224. However, the observed decreases are not statistically significant at the 0.05 level, possibly due to the small sample sizes of the data.
  • Using supplemental data collection from North Carolina, it is shown that passenger vehicle passenger compartment intrusion is more apt to occur when the corner of the trailer is impacted, rather than the center of the trailer. This result is statistically significant at the 0.01 level.
  • It is not possible to establish a nationwide downward trend in fatalities when a passenger vehicle rear-ends a tractor-trailer—neither in terms of total number of fatalities, percentage of fatalities in rear impacts relative to other passenger vehicle fatalities involved in tractor-trailer accidents, nor number of fatal crashes per 1,000 total crashes. The Fatality Accident Reporting System does not list the model year of the trailer.

In April 2009, NHTSA issued An In-Service Analysis of Maintenance and Repair Expenses for the Anti-Lock Brake System and Underride Guard for Tractors and Trailers (74 FR 18803).

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-2010-0150) 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://www.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. 2010-28111 Filed 11-5-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P