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Technical Report: Evaluation of the Certified-Advanced Air Bags

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Technical Report: Evaluation of the Certified-Advanced Air Bags

James F. Simons
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
October 31, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 211 (Thursday, October 31, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65426-65427]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-25951]


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NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION

[Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0115]


Technical Report: Evaluation of the Certified-Advanced Air Bags

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

ACTION: Request for comments on technical report.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces NHTSA's publication of a Technical 
Report reviewing and evaluating certified-advanced air bags. The 
report's title is: Evaluation of the Certified-Advanced Air Bags.

DATES: Comments must be received no later than February 28, 2014.

ADDRESSES:
    Report: The technical report is available on the Internet for 
viewing in PDF format at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811834.pdf. 
You may obtain a copy of the report free of charge by sending a self-
addressed mailing label to Nathan K. Greenwell (NVS-431), National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Room W53-438, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
    Comments: You may submit comments [identified by Docket Number 
NHTSA-2013-0115] by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Fax: 1-202-366-3189.
     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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nathan K. Greenwell, Mathematical 
Statistician, Evaluation Division, NVS-431, National Center for 
Statistics and Analysis, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, Room W53-438, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC 20590. Telephone: 202-366-3860. Email: nathan.greenwell@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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of this report is to analyze the 
changes and redesigns of frontal air bags and their effect on occupant 
protection in frontal crashes. Frontal air bags have gone through a 
series of changes in response to amendments to Federal Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard No. 208, ``Occupant crash protection.'' In 1998-1999, 
vehicle manufacturers were permitted to sled test in lieu of a barrier 
impact to certify that the air bags would protect an unbelted occupant 
(``sled certification''), which allowed air bags to be redesigned by 
depowering and/or reducing the volume or rearward extent of air bags. 
Then in 2003-2006, air bags were required to not deploy at all for 
children or deploy only at a low level of force (``certified-advanced 
air bags''). Most manufacturers chose to not deploy air bags at all for 
children, using occupant detection sensors to suppress the air bags. 
Statistical analyses of crash data compare fatality risk with 
certified-advanced and sled-certified air bags.
     Fatality risk in frontal crashes was 4 percent lower for 
drivers with certified-advanced air bags than with sled-certified air 
bags; for right-front passengers, it was 2 percent higher; at neither 
position is the difference between certified-advanced and sled-
certified air bags statistically significant.
     The fatality rate, in frontal crashes per billion vehicle 
registration years showed a 4 percent reduction overall, 5 percent 
reduction for drivers, and 5 percent reduction for child right-front 
passengers 12 and younger, after vehicles were equipped with certified-
advanced air bags. None of these were statistically significant.

Overall, the analysis found no evidence that certified-advanced air 
bags result in higher fatality risk to front-seat

[[Page 65427]]

occupants in frontal crashes when compared to sled-certified air bags.

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-2013-0115) 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 1-202-366-3189. 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 Nathan K. 
Greenwell, Mathematical Statistician, Evaluation Division, NVS-431, 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Room W53-438, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590 (or email them to 
nathan.greenwell@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.

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

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 28, 2013.
James F. Simons,
Director, Office of Regulatory Analysis and Evaluation.
[FR Doc. 2013-25951 Filed 10-30-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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